“We are what we eat” is how the saying goes, but can you really eat your way to being smarter and deter age related memory loss and more serious concerns such as dementia, and Alzheimer’s? Research is showing that you can boost your brainpower and protect your brain against deterioration by eating the right foods! Checkout our list of proven brain foods:
Walnuts are considered the ultimate brain food not just because they are shaped like the human brain but because they are loaded in Omega 3 fatty acids. Roughly two-thirds of our brain is composed of fats (structural fats that make up cell membranes etc). Omega 3 helps keeps the brain fluid an improve communication between brain cells. So go nuts and not bananas!
Also rich in Omega 3 fat is another terrific option to fuel your brain with the good fat your brain needs. Omega 3 has been shown to increase brain volume, enhance mood, and possesses neuro-protective properties. In a large study, scientists analyzing the diets of 12,000 pregnant women found that children of those who consumed less omega 3 were more likely to score lower on IQ tests. Omega 3, particularly a component called DHA, are present in the brain, so having it in your diet will be beneficial to your brain. The best sources of omega-3 is in fatty fishes like, mackerel, herring, wild salmon and sardines.
Blueberries can stop you from getting “rusty”, literally. Blueberries and various other berries are rich in antioxidants called polyphenols to combat oxidative stress (a process in the body that is like rusting to your cells). Oxidative stress can contribute to many age-related diseases, including age-related memory loss. Studies have demonstrated that daily consumption of blueberries can halt impairments in memory and motor coordination that normally accompanies aging. Start slipping blueberries into you diet by incorporating them into your salads and smoothies or on their own as a snack.
Turmeric is a spice commonly used in India to make curries. Turmeric has powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory power which helps protect your brain health. In particular, research has shown that the curcuminoids, a constituent found in Turmeric, may help break down and also inhibit the accumulation of destructive beta amyloids in the brain of Alzheimer’s patients.
Avocados have a rich creamy fatty taste, but without the health concerns that comes with other fats like transfat. Avocados are rich in monounsaturated fat, healthy fat that can help provide support to neuron cells. Avocados are also high in B vitamins, folate and B6. A deficiency in these vitamins has been associated with poor cognition and higher levels of homocysteine levels which is a risk factor of Alzheimer’s disease. So eat the right fats to build a better brain!
If you are not getting the message yet, your brain loves fat! Good fat that is. Coconut oil contains medium chain triglycerides (MCT), a beneficial fat for the brain. MCT’s been found to boost cognitive performance in older adults suffering from memory disorders. It appears that Alzheimer patients have a reduced ability to use glucose as energy and MCT’s can provide an alternate energy source -ketones- to fuel brain cells. In a recent study, consumption of MCT’s led to an immediate improvement in brain function in patients with mild Alzheimer’s.
You have the power
Remember that your diet impacts all aspects of your health, including your brain! What you eat can impact the brain chemicals that ultimately influence your mood and mind. Fortunately, what you eat is within your power to control! The more you know about the food-brain connection, the more empowered you are to make dietary decisions that benefit your brain.