As the adage goes, you are what you eat. A healthy body calls for a healthy diet that is full of vitamins and low in sugar and fats. There are tons of physical benefits including a lower risk of chronic conditions like diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, and even some types of cancer. However, the food you eat can also affect your brain health. Research has shown that the consumption of certain foods can help protect brain cells, potentially lowering the likelihood of having memory loss and cognitive decline, as well as Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia.
Best Foods for a Healthy Brain
Prepackaged meals and processed foods are convenient and accessible when you are hungry, but they lack the nutrition aged adults require for healthy living. To get the most out of your diet, opt for fresh foods such as fruits, vegetables, dairy, and meats. Here are some superfoods to incorporate into your diet – your mind and body will thank you for it!
- Green Vegetables
Leafy greens like broccoli, romaine lettuce, kale, collards, and many others, are rich in vitamins A, C, E, and iron, which are all important in preventing cognitive decline as you age. Studies suggest that consuming up to six servings of leafy greens each week may help lower the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Leafy greens are also simple to prepare; they can be steamed, baked, or even eaten raw. Just be careful not to douse them in excessive amounts of butter or sauces with high fat or sugar content.
- Dark Berries
Blackberries, blueberries, and dark red cherries contain lots of antioxidants and flavonoids, which can boost one’s memory. Fresh fruit is aplenty in the summer, the ideal time to stock up on these sweet yet bitter berries. In the winter, go for frozen or dried varieties with no added sugars, which are comparable in nutritional value to that of fresh berries.
Nuts like walnuts, almonds, and pistachios are lauded for being heart-healthy. They are high in healthy fats, fiber, and antioxidants, and incorporating them into your diet on a regular basis can help reduce bad cholesterol, lower your risk of heart disease, and improve your memory. Nuts can jazz up salads or be eaten as they are to make a delicious and nutritious snack.
- Fatty Fish
Omega-3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory and heart-healthy properties. However, this important fatty acid present in fatty fish such as tuna, mackerel, and salmon has been proven to aid in the reduction of beta-amyloid plaques in the brain, which is known to disrupt cell function and cause the advancement of Alzheimer’s disease.
Not only are beans low in fat and calories, but they are also high in fiber and protein, and bring many benefits to the brain. Studies have shown that consuming beans three times per week may help reduce one’s risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
Embark on Your Health and Wellness Journey at Blue Ridge
Here at Blue Ridge, you or your loved one can enjoy chef-prepared meals that meet every individual’s nutritional needs. Health and wellness are at the core of our amenities and activities, and we strive to ensure that our residents’ physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and social needs are met. If you want to learn more about memory care and our programs, contact our team of professionals who will be more than happy to guide you and answer any questions you might have.