The foods we eat don’t just matter when it comes to our waistlines, they’re also very important for the health of our brain and other vital organs. Neglecting to eat enough of the superfoods that help to power our brain can have dire consequences as we age, resulting in conditions like Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
Adding the recommended amounts of each of the below foods to your diet will help to arm you against debilitating diseases of the brain. So, take out your grocery list and add these superfoods for brain power:
Fatty fishes. Fish like salmon, tuna, and mackerel are rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids like DHA, which makes up about 40 percent of the fatty acids in brain cell membranes. Aim to eat fatty fish at least twice a week, but limit your consumption of albacore tuna to six ounces a week to minimize mercury exposure.
Leafy greens, cruciferous veggies, and berries. Veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, bok choy, and brussels sprouts, along with blueberries, are very high in antioxidants (vitamin C and carotenoids, in particular) that protect the brain from damage caused by free radicals. These should be part of your daily diet.
Almonds. Almonds and other nuts, along with avocado, olive oil, and seeds, are all high in vitamins E, another antioxident that has been shown to significantly lower the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
Water. Being hydrated is necessary for the health of your cells, particularly your brain cells. Aim for six to eight glasses a day.
Chocolate and alcohol. Both in moderation, of course. One or less glasses of red wine a day have been shown to promote brain and heart health, most likely by preventing blockages in blood vessels. Dark chocolate (at least 70 percent cocoa) is high in flavenoids.
Coffee and tea. Two cups a day of coffee or tea is beneficial because the caffeine increases activity in the brain and blocks the development of proteins associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Tea is also high in flavenoids.
Whole grains. Foods like oatmeal, brown rice, and whole wheat bread are high in fiber. Fiber helps to stabilize the levels of glucose in your blood, which is the brain’s main source of energy.
How many of these superfoods do you eat regularly? Tell us below.
Sources: prevention.com and life.gaiam.com