In order to maintain a good quality of life for many years, it is essential to have a healthy brain. Alertness and memory are very important in being able to do all the activities that make life enjoyable. Sadly, there are no miracle cures that modern science can do to reverse mental decline. It is up to each of us to take action.
Prevention Is The Key
A good dose of prevention can be received by making a few additions to our diet. Luckily, many of these foods are delicious and easy to find. There is no need to drastically change what you eat. All you need to do is learn about brain foods that will help everyday functions. Dementia foods provide long term protection against mental decline.
Avoiding Mental Decline & Alzheimer’s
Studies suggest that by the middle of the next century, over 14 million people will have Alzheimer’s disease. The total number of those with dementia will be even higher. This is creating a tremendous strain on families and our health care system. These diseases have no known cures.
You can protect yourself by becoming educated as to the best methods of prevention. Risk factors for dementia include heart disease, diabetes, obesity, smoking and over-consumption of alcohol. Living a healthy lifestyle, exercise and diet should be the first act of prevention. Food choices are an easy to control variable that will improve your health.
20 Brain Foods That Fight Dementia & Boost Memory
- Tuna, Salmon, Sardines (contain omega-3 fatty acids) – Omega- 3’s are important for healthy brain cells. Oily fish is an excellent source of these fatty acids which stimulate healthy brain cell growth and improve the structure of neurons.
- Berries– Blackberries, blueberries, cranberries, strawberries, and raspberries are all high in antioxidants that help brain cells function. Prevents memory loss. Also, anti-inflammatory properties slow down brain aging or degeneration. It is easy to incorporate these into the diet by adding to breakfast cereal or eating as a healthy snack.
- Coffee and Caffeine – You have noticed that a morning cup of coffee improves concentration and alertness. There are also long term benefits such as a lowered risk of Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s.
- Dark Chocolate – A treat that is full of antioxidants and can stave off degenerative neural diseases. It also contains flavonoids that help with creating memories and performing mental tasks.
- Broccoli – A healthy vegetable that is full of vitamins including vitamin K which may improve memory. A strong dose of anti-inflammatory and antioxidants keep the brain young and fresh.
- Kale– A true superfood that supports the brain with glucosinolates, vitamins, and antioxidants.
- Pumpkin Seeds – These little snacks are packed with vitamins. Zinc and Copper improve the functioning of nerves. Magnesium and Iron are important for memory and brain function. Maintaining healthy nerves lowers the risk of neurodegenerative disorders.
- Nuts (Black Walnuts, Hazelnuts, Almonds, Pecans) – Eating nuts can do a lot to improve memory and brain function. Healthy fats and vitamin E help shield nerves from damage over time. Walnuts are high in omega-3 fatty acids. Nuts also promote heart health which is linked to maintaining a healthy brain.
- Oranges – We all know oranges are high in Vitamin C. But did you know that Vitamin C is important in delaying mental decline? Oranges are also full of antioxidants to prevent damage to the nerves and brain cells.
- Spinach – Like kale and other dark leafy greens, spinach provides a strong dose of antioxidants and Vitamin K. Also provides folate and lutein which can improve cognitive scores and memory.
- Eggs – Eggs contain a lot of Choline. The body turns this chemical into one of the most important neurotransmitters in the nervous system. Additionally, the cholesterol in eggs is used to build brain cells and helps protect nerves with antioxidant qualities.
- Green Tea– Caffeine is good for everyday brain function while antioxidants and polyphenols reduce the risk of mental decline. A great extra benefit comes from the amino-acid; L-theanine. This softens the stimulating effects of caffeine and fights against anxiety and tension; major risk factors for mental decline.
- Asparagus – A good source of folates and anti-inflammatory vitamins. It also contains prebiotic fiber that is excellent for maintaining healthy gut bacteria. This is been shown to support brain health.
- Olive Oil – A good source of antioxidants called polyphenols, which protect the brain against aging.
- Coconut Oil – Saturated fat is important for the healthy function of brain cells, helping maintain the membranes of each cell.
- Whiskey – Studies have shown that whiskey can calm the nerves and slow down activity in the brain. The happy feelings from the drink have long term benefits for brain health.
- Red Wine – The unique polyphenols found in red wine has been linked to the prevention of brain pathology, Alzheimer’s disease, and mental decline.
- Pomegranate – Touted in recent years as a superfood, the juice from this fruit is extremely high in polyphenols and antioxidants that accumulate in the brain.
- Guava – This tropical fruit will sharpen focus and improve cognitive scores. High in antioxidants and vitamin C, it also is a good source of B vitamins that improve blood circulation.
- Avocados – Contains monounsaturated fats that help the brain cells build their membranes. It also has been shown to improve blood pressure which is good for long term brain health.
A Healthy Brain Is Essential
Each of these brain foods contains vitamins, minerals, fats or other chemicals that are beneficial to mental function.
• Vitamins C, E & K, Zinc, Copper, Magnesium, Iron
• Polyphenols, Folates
By being aware of the benefits of these nutrients and foods, you can take charge of your mental and neural health. One of the great things is that you don’t have to wait for the benefits. Many of these foods improve your mental functions right now; reducing stress, sharpening the focus, improving memory, and making cognitive tasks easier to perform.
By incorporating these foods into your diet, you will feel better and perform better in your daily life. It will not be difficult or painful to make a change today that will deliver benefits now and for the rest of your life.