Keeping your mind sharp as you age is as important as being physically fit. According to Alzheimer’s Association, more than 5 million Americans suffer from Alzheimer’s disease and 1 in 3 seniors die with dementia. A healthy lifestyle with proper diet and exercise can have a positive impact on brain power and reduce risks of decline in cognitive abilities.
Here are some widely recommended foods to improve your brain health:
- Diet experts call for at least 3 servings of whole grains daily. Grains are packed with nutrients, including protein, fiber, B vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals like iron, zinc, copper, and magnesium.
- Many experts recommend at least one serving a week of fish. Salmon, halibut, and tuna are rich in EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids which are said to reduce the risk of dementia.
- Include more fruit and veggies. In addition to providing a boost to your brain, this can improve heart health and reduce the risk of certain cancers.
- Avocados are a great brain health food. They contain both vitamin K and folate and help prevent blood clots in the brain, and improve both memory and concentration.
- Choline is an essential nutrient that is responsible for improving memory. It is present in fruits, veggies, milk, chocolate, and nuts. It can also be found in certain types of fish such as salmon, cod, shrimp, whole eggs, meat, and poultry.
- Pomegranate juice offers potent antioxidant benefits that protect the brain from the damage of free radicals. Walnuts have high levels of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals and improve mental alertness.
- Foods that are high in unsaturated fat, like fatty fish, nuts, and plant-based oils, including olive and canola oil are great for the mind. Limit foods rich in saturated fats like meat, cheese, and butter.
- Dark chocolate has powerful antioxidant properties and its natural stimulants such as caffeine enhance focus and concentration. It stimulates the production of endorphins, which helps improve mood.
- Turmeric helps boost antioxidant levels and keep your immune system healthy. This improves your brain’s oxygen intake while helping to process information and keeping you alert.
Besides diet, there are various strategies to protect and sharpen the mind. Keep learning and challenge your brain with mental exercises such as puzzles and brain games. Staying mentally focused can keep your brain young.