While a person’s cognitive decline is impacted by their personal history, age, and other risk factors, there are ways to maintain a healthy brain and improve memory and overall cognition. Along with getting plenty of exercise and participating in mentally stimulating activities, older adults can improve cognitive function by enjoying a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and protein. Here are some of the top foods to promote brain health. By incorporating these nutrient-rich foods into your diet, you can reduce your risk of cognitive decline and memory loss.
It is no surprise that leafy greens appear at the top of this list. They are packed with essential brain-boosting vitamins and minerals, including beta carotene, vitamin K, and folate. These have been shown to slow cognitive decline in older adults. Some of the most popular leafy greens include the following:
Along with their healthy properties, leafy greens are versatile and can be used in various dishes, including smoothers and salads. So, the next time you are in the supermarket, be sure to add one of these to your shopping list!
In general, nuts are a great source of protein that also reduce inflammation. In addition, they are a heart-healthy food, and studies indicate that cardiovascular health has an enormous impact on brain health.
Walnuts work great as a daily snack, or you can add them to salads and other meals for an extra boost of flavor and crunch.
Although walnuts are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, if you really want to increase your intake, try incorporating fish into your diet. These are some of the best varieties of fish to add to your weekly meal planning:
These fish are high in omega-3 fatty acids, and they are also low in mercury. Research shows that a diet that incorporates more fish can lower your beta-amyloid levels. This is a protein that has been linked to dementia and Alzheimer’s.
If you like to begin your day with a cup of coffee or tea, we have good news for you. Research shows that daily caffeine intake can improve cognitive function and memory. Recent Johns Hopkins University research indicates that caffeine may enhance long-term memory. After studying a series of images, participants who were given 200-milligram caffeine tablets were better at distinguishing these same images from similar ones when tested the next day.
Of course, there are limitations to the benefits of caffeine. For example, too much can negatively alter a person’s mood, increase stress levels, and lead to sleep issues such as insomnia. If you have specific questions about the benefits and risks of caffeine, we recommend talking with your healthcare provider to discuss potential changes to your diet.
Another great way to start the morning is by including eggs in your breakfast. They have many different health benefits, but perhaps most significant is their impact on cognitive function and brain health.
A 2019 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition highlighted the benefits of choline on memory and overall brain function. Eggs are high in choline, which is essential in reducing inflammation and improving communication between cells in the brain.
The final food on this list is also one of the most delicious – berries. Numerous studies have shown the benefits of adding berries to your daily diet. For brain health, the best options are fresh strawberries and blueberries. Not only are they rich in flavonoids – which have been shown to improve memory – but they are also high in vitamin C, vitamin K, and manganese.
With all these health benefits and their sweet flavor, berries should be a staple in every diet. Combine them with low-fat yogurt and granola for a delicious snack, add them to salads, mix them into a fresh fruit smoothie, or simply enjoy them on their own. The options are endless.
If you are searching for ways to prevent Alzheimer’s and dementia and stay sharp, adding these top foods to promote brain health is a great place to start. And if you combine these brain-boosting foods with moderate exercise and regular sleep, you will be taking some of the most important steps toward giving your brain the help it needs to stay healthy and strong.
This post was written by Markentum for Stellar Senior Living.