You know healthy eating is important for weight management, heart health and a general sense of well-being. But you can also nourish your brain with the foods you choose.
The brain is a very important organ. It’s the control center of your body and allows you to move, think, feel, breathe and more. Because the brain has such a big job, it’s critical that we provide it with the right nutrients to help maintain brain health and function. Start by adding these five brain-building foods to your diet:
- Blueberries – Research from Tufts University found that the consumption of blueberries may be effective in improving or delaying short term memory loss. Bonus – blueberries are delicious and readily available. Toss them on your cereal, grab a handful for snack or even put them on frozen yogurt for a nighttime treat!
- Tomatoes – Tomatoes are loaded with lycopene. Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant that can help protect against the kind of free radical damage to cells which occurs in the development of dementia and Alzheimer’s.
- Oily Fish – Your brain relies on essential fatty acids (EFAs) and yet your body cannot produce them, so they must be obtained through your diet. The most effective omega-3 fatty acids occur naturally in oily fish as EPA and DHA. Look for salmon, trout, mackerel, herring and sardines. Low DHA levels have been linked to increased risk of Alzheimer’s and memory loss.
- Pumpkin Seeds – Pumpkin seeds are an excellent source of zinc. Zinc is crucial for enhancing memory and cognition. It doesn’t take much to reap the benefits either. Just a handful will do. Be mindful of salt content, though – look for unsalted, natural varieties and keep a bag in your desk for a quick and easy brain boost.
- Walnuts – According to a recent study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, proper intake of vitamin E might help to prevent cognitive decline, particularly in the elderly. Nuts, particularly walnuts, are an excellent source of vitamin E. Plus, they’re another easy on-the-go snack to keep handy.