Brain health is a vital part of our overall health. Staying engaged, exercising, socializing, and learning new skills are crucial for improving cognition as we age, but another great effort we ought to make to keep our brains vibrant is to follow a brain-healthy diet.
While a well-rounded, healthful diet is the best route for brain health, there are some foods that stand out as a bit better for cognitive health than others. Read on to learn the best foods for brain health!
Each individual should follow the advice of their medical professionals or doctors and speak with them before making changes to diet, exercise, or supplements. This post is for informational use only and should not be considered medical advice.
Best Foods for the Mind
These 10 foods are on the “Yes!” list when it comes to eating for brain health. Notice that the items on this list feature different natural chemicals, vitamins, or minerals that the brain needs to thrive.
- Fish: Especially Salmon and Trout which have the Omega-3 fatty acids our brains use to make brain and nerve cells – and protect against cognitive decline.
- Blueberries: Blueberries not only enhance the brain, they also protect it from stress. A study of 16,000 older women over 15 years of time found those who consumed at least one-half cup of blueberries or strawberries each week had slower rates of cognitive decline.
- Cruciferous Vegetables: The vitamin E, folate, lutein, beta-carotene, and vitamin K in leafy greens keep brains protected and are said to improve memory. So definitely eat your Broccoli, spinach, kale, Brussel sprouts, collard greens, cauliflower, and arugula!
- Nuts: Especially Walnuts. They are great for their Vitamin E. Vitamin E helps protect cells from damage.
- Avocados: These fruits promote healthy blood flow and they lower blood pressure. They contain more Potassium than bananas, and high levels of Vitamin K, Folate, and Vitamin C!
- Beans and Lentils: Beans provide us with B vitamins and help cells produce energy and communicate. They play a large role in allowing for signals to pass between nerves.
- Eggs: These incredible edibles have high levels of choline which helps to create the brain chemical of acetylcholine. It’s important for brain functioning and may help with memory.
- Seeds: Sunflower and pumpkin seeds supply Zinc which can aid in enhancing memory and thinking. They also can help with mood and aid in increasing energy.
- Whole Grains: Examples like brown rice, whole-wheat bread, quinoa, and oats can boost the flow of blood to the brain. Whole grains in general are great at providing dietary fiber.
- Coffee: Caffeine and antioxidants are both found in coffee and they both help our brains when it comes to alertness and mood. Bonus if you add a small amount of dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa) to your cup, as it improves blood flow to the brain and is a strong antioxidant.
Healthy and Delicious Challenge!
Healthy-brain food challenge! Do you normally consume the 10 foods on our list? If so, we would love to hear how you enjoy them! Please let us know your best preparation ideas in the comments section.