We’ve all had days when we didn’t feel like we were ‘on our game.’ And as we age, both our bodies and our brains grow old as well. By making smart food choices though, we can preserve our precious gray matter longer and improve brain function. Here are some brainy choices for keeping our noggins in tip-top shape.
Blueberries have been shown to shield the brain from stress, dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease. Research has also shown that diets rich in blueberries significantly improved both the learning capacity and motor skills.
Avocados, though considered a ‘fatty fruit,’ contribute to healthy blood flow and decreased blood pressure, lessening the chances of developing hypertension, which can lead to a stroke.
Deep-water fish, such as salmon is a wise, freshwater fish choice. It’s abundant in omega-3 essential fatty acids, which are essential for healthy brain function.
Nuts and seeds are good sources of vitamin E, an important vitamin needed by your brain to stave off declining cognitive functions. Cashews, peanuts, walnuts, sunflower and sesame seeds and almonds are all great choices.
Whole-grain breads, brown rice, and oatmeal also contribute to a healthy brain by reducing the risk for cardiac disease. By promoting a healthy heart and improved blood flow, the brain is sure to thrive via excellent oxygen and nutrient delivery through the bloodstream. Complex carbohydrates also supply the brain with a steady stream of glucose that enhances brain function. It’s important to avoid simple carbohydrates often found in junk food because the glucose gives the brain a short-lived sugar high, often followed by a crash that makes you feel hungry and tired.
Freshly brewed tea also has potent antioxidants, especially the class known as catechines, which also promotes healthy blood flow. Since black teas do contain caffeine it’s important to use it sensibly.
Dark chocolate has powerful antioxidant properties, contains several natural stimulants, which enhance focus and concentration, and encourages the production of endorphins, which helps improve mood. Again, moderation is the key.
Superfoods to Fend of Alzheimer’s disease
Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive brain disorder that gradually destroys memory and the ability to think and reason. Recent estimates show approximately 4 million people in the U.S. have dementia, most with Alzheimer’s disease. By 2050, that number could be as high as 16 million.
However, by making some simple adjustments in your diet to include foods high in folate, you can help reduce your risk. According to research, older adults whose diets were high in folate reduced their risk of Alzheimer’s disease by half compared with those whose diets contain less than the Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA
Folate has also been shown to lower blood levels of homocysteine, a risk factor for heart disease. High homocysteine levels, as well as decreased folate and vitamin B-12 levels, have also been associated with stroke and Alzheimer’s disease.
A healthy, well-balanced diet is your best option to get the folate you need. Be sure it includes at least five servings of fresh fruits and vegetables each day. Foods rich in folate include oranges and bananas, dark leafy green vegetables, asparagus, broccoli, liver, and many types of beans and peas, including lima, lentil and garbanzo, as well as fortified breads and cereals.
The antioxidants in apples could help protect the brain from the type of damage that triggers Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, according to recent research. But it’s estimated that on average Americans only eat approximately one-seventh of an apple per day, nowhere near enough.
Blueberries are an awesome food choice as well to arm your body to combat declining mental capacities. It’s also imperative to choose unsaturated fats so your circulatory system stays healthy. Healthy blood flow and blood vessels lessen the chance of brain damage due to strokes or compromised circulation.
Over and above a healthy diet, taking a natural nootropic like Neurolon can assist to keep your brain working at optimum levels.