It’s true, you are what you eat—the foods you consume can definitely influence your health. While the foods you eat can’t replace prescription medicine, they can help prevent certain health conditions and fend off illnesses. When it comes to your brain, there are a handful of foods that can fortify your memory, prevent disease, and even slow cognitive decline.
To keep your brain happy and healthy, Neurovine’s Chief Medical Officer and family doctor, Dr. Matthew Kennedy, has five delicious recommendations. In addition to the regular consumption of these foods, taking vitamins like B6, B12, folic acid, and omega-3 on a daily basis can help boost your brain function.
Leafy Greens 🌿
Even though they can be a little underwhelming, leafy greens like kale, spinach, collard greens, cabbage, microgreens, watercress, and romaine lettuce are high in antioxidants and vitamin K. In order to reap the health benefits of dark and leafy greens, you’ll need to consume one cup per day. Some studies suggest that just one measly cup of greens each day is associated with a slower decline in brain function and memory. Because leafy greens are high in antioxidants, they can also reduce the likelihood of developing certain forms of cancer.
Fatty Fish 🐟
While it doesn’t sound all that appetizing, eating oily fish provides your brain with the omega-3 fatty acid that it so desperately needs. Omega-3 is best known for improving the structure of neurons in your brain through building membranes.
Not only do omega-3 fatty acids improve your brain health but they can also have positive impacts on your immune system, blood pressure, mental health, skin, hair, and it may even aid in weight loss.
Along with taking omega-3 supplements, try to consume fatty or oily fish twice a week, such as salmon, mackerel, and herring.
Dark Chocolate 🍫
Finally, a brain-healthy food suggestion that people can be thrilled about! Like leafy greens, dark chocolate is high in antioxidants and can also positively impact your cardiovascular system. Dark chocolate is made from cacao, which contains the antioxidants known as flavonoids. These encourage neuron growth and adequate blood flow through the parts of the brain responsible for learning and memory.
Try to opt for a bar that is at least 70% dark chocolate. For extra brain health benefits, consume the dark chocolate with a handful of fresh berries.
Berries like blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, black currants, and blackberries, are all high in flavonoid antioxidants, just like dark chocolate. The antioxidants found in berries, including quercetin and anthocyanin, can reduce inflammation in your brain and in the rest of your body, combat cognitive decline, and aid in better communication between your brain’s cells.
If you consume berries on a daily basis, you may also notice an improvement in your skin, cholesterol levels, mood, and digestive system as berries are high in fiber.
Most nuts contain omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants, making them a great alternative to oily fish for vegetarians and vegans. The vitamin E and DHA found in nuts can improve cognitive function and support your brain as you age. Next time you’re at the grocery store, be sure to stock up on walnuts, sunflower seeds, almonds, and hazelnuts.
Also, swapping your peanut butter for almond butter is a simple way to get some of the essential vitamins and antioxidants every day.
Instead of the nearest greasy drive-thru, why not chow down and fortify with these top five brain-boosting foods. Your brain – and your bones – will thank you!
For more information on brain health and concussions, visit www.neurovine.ai/.