Have you gotten forgetful over the years? Or perhaps your family has a history of dementia or alzheimers that you would like to delay experiencing? Either way, many Americans are looking for natural ways to improve their brain health & functions in order to help support their memory well into their senior years. Fish could be just the answer you are looking for.
What Impacts Your Brain Health?
The answer to this is rather complicated, but your brain relies on many things to keep it functioning well including: a good night’s sleep, a healthy diet, hydration, mental stimulation, vitamins, minerals, regular exercise that keeps the blood flowing to the grey matter, and so much more.
While getting a good night’s sleep can be elusive for many stressed-out adults, eating the right variety of foods to improve your brain and cognitive functions is well within everyone’s reach.
Top Four Foods for Brain Health
Research shows that there are certain foods that can really help support your noggin.
#1 Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids, and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) in particular is essential for good brain health. Seafood, algae and fatty fish — including salmon, bluefin tuna, sardines and herring — are some of the best sources of the omega-3 fatty acid, DHA. According to EatRight online, all you have to do is substitute fish for other meats once or twice a week to get a healthy dose.
A 2017 study found that people with high levels of omega-3s had increased blood flow in the brain. The researchers also identified a connection between omega-3 levels and better cognition, or thinking abilities.
#2 – Veggies of All Colors and Varieties
Increasing your veggie intake, especially those of the green leafy variety, can help improve your brain health. According to Medical News Today broccoli may be particularly good for your brain. Broccoli is rich in compounds called glucosinolates. When the body breaks these down, they produce isothiocyanates. Isothiocyanates may reduce oxidative stress and lower the risk of neurodegenerative diseases. Broccoli also contains vitamin C and flavonoids, and these antioxidants can further boost a person’s brain health.
#3 – Nuts & Berries
If you are a snacker, like me, you may want to keep a bowl of berries, such as blackberries, blueberries and cherries out on your table. These are a rich source of anthocyanins and other flavonoids that may support memory function.
Nuts are also a great source of omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants. A 2014 study found that a higher overall nut intake was linked to better brain function in older age.
#4 – Dark Chocolate
Did you think we had forgotten your sweet tooth? Nope! Dark chocolate, although not as sweet as its cousin milk chocolate, has some antioxidants. These are especially important for brain health, as the brain is highly susceptible to oxidative stress, which contributes to age-related cognitive decline and brain diseases.
In addition, according to a 2013 review, they may encourage neuron and blood vessel growth in parts of the brain involved in memory and learning. They may also stimulate blood flow in the brain.
So if you find yourself scratching your head when you enter a room, wondering why you came in here, then maybe you should consider adding one of these four powerful brain foods!