Do you want to keep your brain healthy and age gracefully? Eating the right food can make a big difference. We’re exploring five superfoods that can help you do just that. From fish to dark chocolate, read on to learn how you can incorporate these brain-boosting foods into your diet and reap the benefits of a healthier brain and body.
Fish are among the most important sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for brain health. Omega-3s have been linked to improved cognitive health in several decades’ worth of research. Those who eat fish regularly tend to have more gray matter in their brains containing the nerve cells responsible for decision making and memory. Omega-3s can be found in a variety of fish including salmon, sardines, mackerel, tuna, anchovies, herring and trout among other fish. A diet rich in omega-3 fats may help lower cholesterol levels, reduce inflammation throughout your body and promote muscle growth – all important aspects of staying healthy into our later years.
Berries are a superfood for brain health and healthy aging, with research linking regular consumption to lower risk of type 2 diabetes and heart attack plus possessing some brain-protecting qualities. The antioxidants found in berries can help protect the brain from oxidative stress and inflammation, which can lead to cognitive decline as we age. Studies have shown that eating blueberries in particular may help improve memory, motor skills, balance and coordination. They’ve also been linked to improved moods and increased alertness.
Including berries as part of your daily diet is easy: try sprinkling them over your breakfast cereal or adding them to a smoothie for an extra boost of flavor and nutrition. Alternatively, you can simply enjoy them as is for a simple snack or dessert. Frozen berries make a great option too – just be sure to check the packaging for added sugar content before buying!
3. Leafy greens
Leafy greens are an essential part of a diet for brain health and healthy aging. Green vegetables like spinach, kale, chard, and collard greens are rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other phytochemicals that have been found to be beneficial for cognitive health. They are also high in folate (or vitamin B9), which plays an important role in brain development and function.
The fiber content of leafy greens helps regulate glucose levels in the body by slowing down the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream after eating carbohydrates. Fiber also supports cardiovascular health. Whether you enjoy them steamed or raw (in salads), adding more leafy greens into your daily diet is one way you can help ensure your brain stays healthy now and into the future.
Turmeric is a popular spice commonly used in Indian cuisine, and it has been gaining recognition for its many health benefits. This deep-yellow spice is packed with antioxidants that help to protect the brain from damage caused by free radicals. It also has anti-inflammatory properties which can help reduce inflammation in the body and brain, while also protecting against age-related cognitive decline.
In addition to its neuroprotective effects, turmeric also helps to support cardiovascular health and helps regulate blood sugar levels – two factors which are important for optimal brain function. It is safe to consume daily either as an ingredient in food or as a supplement form (always check with your healthcare provider before adding any new supplements). Adding more turmeric into your diet on a regular basis could be one simple way to ensure you are getting all the benefits this powerful spice has to offer.
Nuts provide a wealth of essential nutrients that help to protect the brain from damage, reduce inflammation, and improve cognitive function. Nuts contain healthy fats which can help reduce levels of LDL cholesterol in the blood, thus improving heart health. The antioxidants found in nuts also have anti-inflammatory properties which may contribute to improved memory and concentration.
Nuts are also a great source of protein and fiber, both of which play an important role in maintaining good mental health. A diet high in fiber is associated with lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes, obesity, and depression – all conditions that can affect brain health negatively over time. Eating just one or two handfuls of mixed nuts per day can significantly improve alertness and concentration throughout the day. Having a few servings each week will go a long way towards keeping your brain healthy now and into the future!
Enjoy Life to the Fullest with Nutritious Foods
Eating these superfoods regularly will help you achieve a healthier brain and body, allowing you to age gracefully and enjoy life to the fullest. Don’t feel like preparing these nutritious, brain healthy foods yourself? Residents at Westminster Life Plan Communities enjoy café style, grab-and-go and restaurant-style dining, all with nutritious and seasonal menus. Our talented dining team members design delectable menus highlighting seasonal, locally grown ingredients, and find opportunities to highlight cuisine from all around the world. Learn how you can enjoy our menus and find a community near you today!