While getting older is inevitable, you can still take measures to take care of your brain health. It is possible to be just as knowledgeable, quick, and witty 10 years from now as you are today with a nutritious diet.
What you eat affects more than your glowy skin and healthy hair. It can also impact your mood, alertness, memory, and cognitive function. Here’s what experts had to say about what to eat for better brain health. As always, consult your doctor or nutritionist with any questions regarding your dietary needs.
“Salmon is the ultimate superfood. It is one of the richest sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which have incredible health benefits. Omega-3s help improve cardiovascular, brain health, and cognitive function. Salmon delivers a heart-healthy dose of omega-3 fatty acids (essential for a healthy heart, brain, and eyes) and choline (for brain development and memory),” says Rima Kleiner, MS, registered dietitian and blogger of Dish on Fish.
“Eggs are the perfect brain food! They are rich in choline and lutein, two nutrients important for brain development during every stage in life, starting with pregnancy. Regular consumption of eggs has been associated with improved cognitive performance in adults. Be sure to enjoy the whole egg, including the yolk, where choline and lutein are found,” advises Dr. Mickey Rubin, executive director of the Egg Nutrition Center.
“Healthy fats like ghee are essential for normal brain function and stabilization of moods. Not only does ghee improve memory and strengthen the brain and nervous system, but it also improves digestion, promotes longevity, and helps protect the body from various diseases,” shares Dr. Poornima Sharma, Art of Living Retreat Center.
“Beets have a special effect on brainpower. They may improve brain function and likely have the potential to reduce the risk of degenerative diseases such as dementia because of the nitrates they contain. Nitrates increase blood flow throughout the body and in the brain, and improve the delivery of essential nutrients the brain needs to function,” says Vanessa Philips, a nutritionist and nutritional therapist, JM Nutrition.
“Dark chocolate is rich in an antioxidant called flavonoids. Flavonoids have been found to protect brain neurons and enhance the function of neurons. Both of these actions promote memory, learning, and cognitive function in the brain,” shares Ellen Ellingsworth, a registered dietitian.
“Increased consumption of this bite-sized fruit is proven to protect the brain from the harmful effects of aging. As we age, our cognitive function is at greater risk due to oxidative stress. As a result, we risk contracting diseases such as Alzheimer’s or dementia in our senior years. However, blueberries are the defense against the gradual breakdown of mental function,” advises JR Fletcher, founder of Nutritiontastic.
“Curcumin is the active compound in turmeric, a vibrant and earthy spice popular in Indian cuisine. Curcumin is a powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant and has been found in several studies to have brain-boosting benefits. These benefits include improved alertness, enhanced memory, attention, and even mood,” advises Megan Wong, a registered dietitian of AlgaeCal.
“Matcha and green teas contain the l-theanine amino acid, which has been shown to be a relaxant. When matcha/green tea is utilized with high-stress tasks, it can reduce anxiety and increase focus. This tea works on the nervous system by balancing the sympathetic response. L-theanine also increases alpha brain waves and can improve sleep, which in turn can improve your overall mood,” shares Dr. Christian Gonzalez, a naturopathic doctor and non-toxic living expert.
“A food that many people don’t think about as a brain-boosting food is actually seaweed! Seaweed contains omega-3 fats, which are beneficial for cognitive health, including improved memory and performance. Eat it as is for a savory snack, crushed on avocado toast, as a lunch wrap, or as a topper to a fried rice dinner,” shares DJ Blatner, a registered dietitian nutritionist.
“Cherry tomatoes and bright red and orange vegetables are top sources of carotenoids and nutrients that can improve cognition and memory. One of the most powerful of these nutrients is lycopene, which is found in high doses in the skin of tomatoes. Cherry tomatoes have more skin per volume than large tomatoes.” Linda Fears, a certified nutritionist and founder of goodfoodr.
xx, The FabFitFun Team