Though research is ongoing for diet and dementia, a few links between brain health and nutrients have already been established. Just as eating well improves your physical being, the brain needs nutrients for mental health, as well.
How many of these foods are you using now? They can easily be worked into your daily diet. Get creative with your food and increase your brainpower.
1) Oily Fish
Essential fatty acids are not made by the body and can only be obtained through your diet. The most notable are omega-3 fats, which are found naturally in oily fish as EPA and DHA. Low DHA levels are associated with a higher incidence of Alzheimer’s disease and memory loss.
Fish types include:
Additional foods with essential fatty acids include:
- Soya beans
- Oils from linseed, soya been and walnut
- Pumpkin seeds
A great source of vitamin E, nuts may help our thought processes. This has been strongly suggested in a study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology.
Additional foods high in Vitamin E include asparagus, olives, eggs, brown rice, leafy green vegetables and whole grains.
This vegetable is rich in Vitamin K, linked to increasing cognitive abilities
A study from Tufts University links blueberries (and it’s anti-oxidant property) to an increase in short term memory.
5) Whole grains
Whole grains have a low glucose index, with sugar slowly and evenly released into the bloodstream, giving consistent energy to the brain as well as the body for energy and concentration.
Lycopene is found in this juicy red food. This is a powerful antioxidant that protects the body from free radical damage on the cellular level which happens when dementia sets in, especially with Alzheimer’s.
7) Pumpkin Seeds
A handful of these tasty seeds supply your daily zinc requirement. Zinc is important for memory.
8) Black Currants
One of the best providers of Vitamin C, this fruit is also found in preserves and can increase focus and concentration.
Sage can be sprinkled onto your foods as an essential oil or added to your salads in its natural form.
Vitamins for Mental Agility
Increased levels of homocysteine are linked to a higher risk of stroke, Alzheimer’s disease and impaired thinking ability. The good thing is that the level of homocysteine can be decreased with the B vitamins – B6, B12 and Folic Acid.
Research done in Oxford, UK, found that when people had two years of these B vitamins added to their daily diet, there was much less brain shrinkage than the control group.