Eating a healthy diet has been shown to decrease the risk of many preventable diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease, and hypertension.
Researchers are still trying to determine if a healthy diet has a positive effect on memory loss and decreasing the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. While researchers have not yet found a correlation between a healthy diet and decreasing memory loss, they have found certain foods may benefit cognitive functions.
Here are the foods you should include in your diet for a healthy mind.
Fish (Omega-3 Fatty Acids)
Fish is a healthy option overall to include in your diet, but the omega-3 fatty acids and DHA in fish such as tuna, mackerel, and salmon (oily fish) can benefit neuron functions. Fish is also a great source of protein that doesn’t have a lot of saturated fat, which can cause arteries to clog.
From peanuts, peanut butter and avocados to almonds and other nuts, healthy fats with antioxidants and vitamin E are good for the brain.
“There has been some very good research that diets that are high in healthy fats, low in saturated fat and trans fats, and rich in whole grains, green leafy vegetables, and nuts are good for the brain and the heart,” said Maria C. Carrillo, PhD, senior director of medical and scientific relations at the Chicago-based Alzheimer’s Association.
Just make sure to watch your intake since they are high in fat. Keep correct portions when including healthy fats in your diet.
New research has found that berries, such as strawberries, blueberries and acai berries may help rid the brain of toxic proteins associated with age-related memory loss.
Leafy Dark Greens
It’s time to eat more vegetables, specifically those dark, leafy greens, which includes spinach, broccoli, kale, and collard greens. These veggies are packed with vitamin E and folate.
High levels of homocysteine, an amino acid in the blood, may trigger nerve cell death in the brain. Folate may help break down this amino acid, reducing the risk of nerve cell death in the brain.
Use these dark greens when making your salads and sides!
Foods Rich in Vitamin E
Many of the above foods have a common theme – vitamin E. Other foods that contain beneficial amounts of this essential brain booster include oil-based salad dressings, sunflower seeds, whole grains, and olive oil.
As researchers continue to study the effects of diet on memory loss, it’s important to eat a balanced and healthy diet that consists of whole foods. Choosing whole foods rich in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals is best.
Nutrition is a key component of our program at Farrell’s. We teach our members proper nutrition through simple and realistic habits that yield results and fuel the body.
Learn more about Farrell’s and our nutrition program.