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Healthy Food for a Healthy Brain


Several bowls filled with various nutritious salads.

Let us start by saying that naturally, there is no single magic food that will stop cognitive decline. However, nutritionists agree that eating a healthy balanced diet – one that is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and dairy products; is one of the top most useful strategies for slowing down the process.


As you age, your approach to food consumption naturally evolves. With the natural slowing of your metabolism and reduced need for a large sum of calories, it becomes crucial to focus on specific nutrients that support cognitive functions. Therefore, prioritizing foods with high nutritional value becomes paramount. To assist you in embracing a healthier lifestyle, we've compiled a list of the best foods that promote brain health and cognitive function, which can aid in this important transition.


1. Green Vegetables

Leafy greens like kale, spinach, collards, and broccoli are full of nutrients that are good for the brain, including vitamin K, lutein, folate, and beta-carotene. These healthy vegetables may reduce cognitive decline, slowing down the effects of dementia and Parkinson’s.


2. Fatty fish

Omega-3 fatty acids, a beneficial type of unsaturated fat present in fatty fish, have been linked to reduced levels of beta-amyloid in the blood. Beta-amyloid is a protein responsible for the harmful accumulation of clumps in the brains of individuals with Alzheimer's disease. To promote brain health, it's advisable to include fish with low mercury content, such as salmon, cod, canned light tuna, and pollack, in your diet at least twice a week.


3. Berries

Flavonoids – the natural plant pigments that berries contain in their vivid colors, also help with memory. According to a study from Brigham and Women's Hospital at Harvard, women who eat two or more portions of strawberries and blueberries each week can postpone memory loss by up to 2.5 years.


4. Coffee & Tea

Coffee and tea can provide more than simply a momentary boost in concentration. In a recent study, people who consumed more caffeine performed better on mental function tests. Your morning cup of coffee or tea will provide benefits beyond merely improving your short-term focus. Participants in a 2014 study that was published in The Journal of Nutrition performed better on assessments of mental function. According to previous research, caffeine may also aid in consolidating fresh memories.


5. Walnuts

Nuts are a great source of protein and good fats, and a study suggests that walnuts in particular, may help with memory. Increased walnut eating was associated with higher cognition test scores in a 2015 UCLA study. Alpha-linolenic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid, is abundant in walnuts. Omega-3 fatty acid-rich diets and diets rich in ALA help lower your blood pressure and clean your arteries. That benefits the heart and the brain.


All throughout your life, but especially as a senior, consuming a healthy diet is vital. You may be able to prevent or treat chronic health issues by choosing foods that are higher in nutrients and lower in calories. It might also provide you with more strength and energy, allowing you to enjoy your golden years.

 

Are you interested in reading more senior lifestyle articles? Click here! Or, not sure what you want to cook next? Discover a new healthy recipe: here!


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