Posted on Jul 6, 2020 in Brain Health Food
Since you’re currently spending more time at home, we’re bringing you a collection of brain health foods you should be eating right now.
While cognitive decline is part and parcel of the natural aging process, you should do everything you can to keep your brain tip-top. We’re here to help you do just that!
We recently looked at how to keep your mind active during quarantine, and today we’ll show you how you can sharpen up your brain and delay the onset of dementia with wise dietary choices.
Avocados are packed with beneficial unsaturated fat.
Some research shows that dietary fatty acids can potentially reduce blood pressure. Observational studies have shown that having high blood pressure in your 40’s increases your risk of cognitive decline as a senior.
Eat avocados with mozzarella and tomato in a classic Tri-color salad, blitz them in a smoothie, or gobble them up with a spoon.
Other sources of healthful unsaturated fats include almonds, walnuts, Brazil nuts, cashews, and peanuts.
Many berries are rich in antioxidants.
The cells in your body produce waste substances called free radicals. If your body does not remove these free radicals properly, oxidative stress can occur. Antioxidants can help by reducing oxidative stress while also minimizing inflammation.
This review of studies shows that the antioxidants found in berries could help to improve communication between brain cells while also helping with learning and memory.
In a 2012 study, researchers found that women who consumed at least two servings of strawberries and blueberries each week delayed the onset of cognitive decline by more than 2 years.
Berries that best support brain health include:
So, load up on blueberries to stave off dementia and improve your memory.
Like all cruciferous vegetables, broccoli is brimming with fiber and nutrients. It’s also potentially good for your gray matter.
A handful of studies have examined the role of vitamin K in the cognitive function of healthy seniors. A higher intake of vitamin K has been associated with improved memory. You’ll get more than 100% of your recommended daily intake with broccoli.
If you always start your day with a coffee, you could be getting more than a quick shot of energy and focus with your espresso.
The caffeine and antioxidants in coffee are both beneficial for brain health. As long as you limit yourself to a maximum of 5 cups a day, coffee has many positive effects on brain health due to the caffeine content. For this reason, you can also derive many of these benefits from tea.
Recent research from Johns Hopkins University shows caffeine has a positive effect on memory.
Check out our detailed look at caffeine and seniors right here.
One small study showed that eating chocolate mindfully could improve mood.
Dark chocolate in particular contains cacao, a substance containing antioxidants. As we mentioned above, oxidative stress contributes strongly toward brain diseases and cognitive decline.
The antioxidants in cacao are flavonoids. This 2013 study indicates that that the flavonoids in cacao could help with memory and learning by stimulating blood flow in the brain.
This study points to the way a compound in dark chocolate can enhance memory.
In another larger study, participants who ate chocolate regularly demonstrated improved memory and cognitive function.
Give your mood and memory a welcome in boost with some delicious dark chocolate. If you don’t like the bitterness of dark chocolate eaten from the bar, why not check out these delightful dark chocolate recipes?
It’s the B vitamins that link eggs with brain health.
Recent research shows that these B vitamins could contribute toward a delay in cognitive decline.
Eggs are also a prime source of folic acid. Folate deficiency can be a factor in age-related cognitive decline.
Green leafy veg like spinach, kale, and collards are filled with brain-healthy nutrients.
Kale, for example, contains glucosinolates along with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Other brain-friendly compounds in leafy greens include beta carotene, lutein, and folate.
Eating just one portion of leafy green vegetables each day can slow down age-related cognitive decline.
Nuts deliver an impressive range of health benefits. High in healthful fats, fiber, and protein, how can nuts improve brain health?
Well, this study showed that high nut intake could be related to improved cognition in seniors.
This recent research shows that eating nuts might help boost cognition.
Why is this?
Vitamin E plays a part. By protecting cell membranes from free radicals, this vitamin is associated with slowing age-related mental decline. Vitamin E can also contribute toward a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s.
Some nuts – walnuts in particular – contain omega-3 fatty acids. These fatty acids are instrumental in brain health.
Oily fish are strongly associated with brain health.
Fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel, and trout all have high levels of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s can enhance brain function.
One recent study demonstrated that people with high concentrations of omega-3s had improved blood flow to the brain.
Omega-3s can also help improve the structure of brain cells called neurons and ward off Alzheimer’s.
Eating a diet rich in omega 3 fatty acids can sharpen your mood and memory while also safeguarding your brain against natural, age-related decline. Eat fatty fish at least twice a week. If you don’t like fish, consider speaking with your healthcare provider about omega-3 supplementation.
Oranges are overflowing with vitamin C. This vitamin plays a critical role in slowing down mental decline.
Research shows vitamin C can also help to prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s.
To compound these benefits, vitamin C is also an antioxidant so it helps protect brain cells against the damage caused by free radicals.
All you need is a medium orange each day and you’ll get all the vit C you need.
Are you reaching that stage in life where you’re struggling to cook properly have you considered assisted living?
Choose from one of our five dynamic senior living communities and you’ll get all the brain health foods you need without needing to lift a finger. Get in touch with the friendly team here at Landmark Senior Living and we’ll be happy to offer you a virtual tour.