Eating well is good for your mental as well as your physical health. Your brain requires nutrients just like your heart, lungs, muscles and other organs do. Brain foods rich in antioxidants, good fats, vitamins and minerals provide energy, aid in protecting against brain diseases, help you to keep focused and stay sharp. When you give your body whole, nutritious foods, you’re actually benefiting your body and mind – helping to keep them both in tip-top shape.
Red Wine Studies have shown that the moderate consumption of red wine and other types of alcohol may help to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. However it is not clear whether the health benefit comes from the imbibing of the libations or from other healthy habits in the individual’s life.
Fish Salmon, mackerel, tuna and other fish that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids including DHA, are important for the normal functioning of neurons in the brain. Replacing some red meat and other forms of protein that are high in saturated fats with fish, is another plus for overall health.
Avocado While avocados are high in plant-based fat, it is the kind of fat that is healthy for us. They are another excellent source of vitamin E, as well as the antioxidant powerhouse vitamin C, both of which are associated with a lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
Dark Green Leafy Vegetables Kale, collard greens, spinach, and broccoli are good sources of both vitamin E and folate. While we don’t know exactly how vitamin E protects the brain, it may be by lowering levels of an amino acid known as homocysteine in the blood. High levels of homocysteine, may trigger the death of nerve cells in the brain.
Sunflower Seeds Dry-roasted sunflower seeds contain 30% of your recommended daily intake of vitamin E. Sprinkle them on your salad to give your brain a boost or keep a bag on hand when you need a quick pick-me-up.
Peanuts and Peanut Butter Peanuts and peanut butter, which are also packed with vitamin E, are another source of healthy fats. They, along with almonds, pecans and hazelnuts, help keep the heart and brain healthy and functioning properly.
Berries Blueberries, strawberries and acai berries may help put the brakes on age-related cognitive decline by preserving the brain’s natural “housekeeper” mechanism, which wanes with age. This mechanism helps get rid of toxic proteins associated with age-related memory loss.
Whole Grains Fiber-rich whole grains are an important part of the Mediterranean diet, which may be linked to lower risk of mild cognitive impairment that can progress to Alzheimer’s disease. This type of diet may reduce inflammation, oxidative stress, and other vascular risk factors such as high blood pressure – all of which may play a role in increasing the risk of brain and heart disease.
Citrus Fruits Lemons, limes, oranges and grapefruit also can help your brain stay healthy. These citrus fruits contain antioxidants that protect your brain from damage by helping to combat oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is that process in which free radicals build up in your cells. The antioxidants in citrus fruit, also can keep bones and joints in good shape as we age!