Best Brain Foods
We may not be able to dial back the years as we get older, but we do have some control over what we eat to enhance our brain health. Research tells us that certain foods rich in omega-3 fats, vitamin E and other antioxidants may provide a wealth of health benefits. Remember, there’s no one food that is the magic bullet. Here are some “smart” examples with healthy food.
- Blueberries—All fruits are rich in antioxidants, but there’s something in blueberries that makes them stand out. They contain a certain antioxidant that fights stress in the body and helps minimize age-related diseases. Throw some in your cereal, salad or in your yogurt for a delicious treat.
- Wild or farm-raised salmon—Take your pick, but all salmon is undeniably high in omega-3 fats, which fight inflammation and keep your blood moving, even in the tiny capillaries that flow in your brain. You can lower your risk of dementia and stroke and enhance your memory with eight to12 ounces of omega-3 fatty fish per week. Go with three to four ounce portions; grilled, baked or broiled.
- Whole grains—Healthy carbohydrates found in whole grains break down into glucose or readily available sugar. Did you know that glucose is the main fuel for your brain? According to Advanced Nutrition and Human Metabolism, we need at least 100 grams of carbohydrates daily for brain function. Examples include whole wheat bread, pasta, cereals, corn and brown rice. Whole grains are referred to as “whole” because they are unprocessed and contain intact nutrients like vitamin E, antioxidants and fiber.
- Beans—“Beans, beans, good for the heart…” Well, all of that is true! Beans of all kinds offer loads of fiber, which helps keep your blood sugars steady throughout the day and allows your brain to function better. Try to eat beans at least three to four times a week.
- Nuts and seeds—These are chock full of good fats. Many are good sources of protein, minerals and vitamin E. Some are high in omega-3 fats, omega-6 fats, vitamin B-12 and folic acid. Nuts and seeds may promote higher brain function, good blood flow and a healthy heart. Choose a small handful a day from a variety of healthy nuts and seeds such as walnuts, almonds, peanuts, flaxseeds and sunflower seeds.
Start eating these “smart” foods regularly for all the great benefits they have to offer. Now that’s something you don’t have to think twice about! What are your favorite foods from this list? For more information about Cooper Clinic Nutrition Services, visit our website or call 972.560.2655.