The more we learn about the complexities of the brain, the more in awe we are about the tremendous capabilities our brains possess. Keeping our brains healthy is obviously a goal we should all be striving for, but it is one that doesn’t always have clear-cut path. There are a plethora of different ideas about what constitutes healthy “brain food” on the internet, and not all of them are based on legitimate evidence, and many of them are simply false. We’d like to take some time right now to tell you what actually constitutes a “brain food,” and what steps you can take to keep your brain healthy into your later years.
Eat More Whole Grains
Whole grains slowly release glucose into your bloodstream, giving you a steady source of energy throughout the day. Eating whole grains also reduces the risk for heart disease, and this in turn means you’re promoting good blood flow to the brain.
Blueberries For Brain Health
Studies have shown that blueberries help protect the brain from oxidative stress, and may be effective in reducing the effects of dementia, Alzheimer’s, and other age-related conditions that affect the brain.
Omega-3 fats, including DHA, protect your brain and also benefit your arteries. Fish is by far the best source for Omega-3s, but there are plenty of other foods that you can easily add to your diet that contain Omega-3s. Avocados, walnuts, olive oil, and flaxseeds are all good sources of Omega-3s, as well as being simple, everyday foods that you can work into your meals and snacks.
A recent study showed evidence that Vitamin E may be important in helping prevent cognitive decline, especially among the elderly. The good news is that Vitamin E isn’t hard to find. Nuts, leafy greens, olives, asparagus, and whole grains are all good sources of Vitamin E.
Now that we’ve gone over some of the ways you can eat for brain health, let’s take a look at some foods that you’ll want to avoid in your diet.
Bleached, Refined, or Enriched Flour
This leads us back to the reasons for eating whole grains. The terms above mean that flour has been stripped of its nutrients, and these empty grains can pass into your blood much faster than the steady release from whole grains. This can cause higher blood pressure, and as we said before, cardiovascular health is important for brain health.
You should also avoid foods with syrups and other forms of added sugar or sweeteners because they add empty calories and can interfere with telling your brain that you’re full.
The best diets for a healthy brain will include plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, fish, legumes, and good fats. But rather than choosing foods that are good for your brain, and adding them to an unhealthy diet, you should work at achieving a diet that provides overall health benefits. Leading an active lifestyle and eating healthy will keep your brain working its best.
Contact Cerebrum Health Centers to learn more or schedule a free consultation.
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