Food for your brain

Food for your brain

Have you ever read how various foods can be a cure-all for certain ailments? It’s true that the foods we eat have a profound effect on the way our body performs. Our body is naturally going to age and there is nothing we can do to prevent that; but the damage we do can be minimized by taking strict care of what we consume.

Some foods are better for certain areas of your body than others – for example brain health has been found to be deeply affected by certain nutrients. Research has shown that diets high in healthy fats, low in saturated fats, and rich in dark vegetables are great for the brain (and the heart)! Here is a look at some foods that can help promote a healthier brain:

Blueberries

Blueberries, acai, and even strawberries help to rid the body of toxic proteins that can hinder memory. Doctors agree that these berries help to prevent your brain from becoming exposed to oxidative stress, thus reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia. In other studies, blueberries even increased brain capacity and motor skills.

Salmon

In fact, lots of different types of fish are great for your brain. Salmon, mackerel, and tuna are all rich in omega-3 fatty acids like DHA. Neurons thrive on DHA for brain functions. It’s recommended that fish is consumed over any other meat product. Research from Tufts University showed that people who consumed fish at least three times per week had the highest levels of DHA in their blood. Consequently their risk for Alzheimer’s declined by 39%.

Avocados

Very rich in vitamin E and C, avocados are severely underrated as a superfood. Avocados get a lot of flak for being high in fat and calories; however they contain monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats which contributes to healthy blood flow. They also provide nearly 20 essential nutrients like vitamin A, B, D, and K.

Dark Leafy Veggies

Kale, Collard Greens, Spinach, and broccoli are all great sources of vitamin E and folate when consumed raw. Any food high in vitamin E, a strong antioxidant, is great for fighting off cancer and encouraging the development of healthy new cells. Research by Morris also shows that foods high in vitamin E help to lower the risk for Alzheimer’s.

Exercise

Although it’s not technically part of your diet, exercise has been proven to have a significant effect on the way our brains perform. Research shows that children who actively engage in physical education have higher test scores; particularly in math and science. The benefits don’t end in grade school though. Those who have regular exercise throughout their lives have higher levels of happiness and are less likely to develop depression.

Written by Amber O’Neal

Amber O'Neal

With over 12 years of professional health and wellness experience, Amber is well-respected by her peers in the fitness and nutrition community. In addition to speaking to corporate and community audiences, she is a freelance fitness and nutrition writer and media expert who has been featured in numerous newspapers and magazines including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Marie Claire, and Heart & Soul. Her television appearances include CBS, NBC and FOX affiliates as well as the NBC Nightly News.