Taking care of your body should be synonymous with aging. As people age, they need to actively keep their body in good health and good shape. One thing people tend to neglect, however, is the importance of keeping your brain running like a well-oiled engine. Eating “brain foods” have been shown to enhance memory, protect brain cells, and even reduce the likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s.
Here are 5 foods that you should be eating.
1. Eggs – Yep, these great sources of protein are not only good for your body, but also keep your brain tuned. These bright, yellow yolks are full of the B-vitamin nutrient, choline. The brain’s demand for choline increases with aging, and with good reason. Choline is a necessary because it is used by the brain to make acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that is essential for maintaining memory and brain cell communication.
2. Salmon – What better keeps an engine well-oiled than oil – fish oil in this case. Omega-3 fatty acids have been time and again been proven to contribute in an important role in cognitive function. Did you know that the 60% of the brain is made of fat? Well, during the aging process, deficiency of fatty acids can accelerate mental deterioration. Studies also show that regular intakes of Omega-3 fatty acids increase the working memory. Hey, and let’s not forget that salmon is delicious!
3. Wholegrains – Just like the rest of the body, the brain cannot operate without energy. The ability for most of your brain processes, concentration and focus, require a steady supply of energy from carbs. This is better achieved with wholegrains than refined grains, however, as it keeps your body’s GI count relatively low, supplying you with plenty of energy throughout the day!
4. Nuts and seeds – Nuts and seeds have been known to be good sources of Vitamin E. A study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology suggests that higher levels of Vitamin E intake may actually promote a lesser decline in cognitive abilities as aging occurs. The study shows that eating just as little as 30 grams a day can already set on the benefits that nuts and seeds can offer.
5. Chocolate! – Don’t you just love it when your guilty pleasures make the top 5 list on any health article? Chocolate, well particularly dark chocolate, has powerful antioxidant properties, includes caffeine, and stimulates your endorphins. Not only does it clean your body systems, but it keeps you focused and alert, while leaving you with a good feeling. This is one brain food, however, where more is not better.
There are some other brain foods as well that didn’t make the list, but these were selected since they are the most readily available to everyone. Honorable mentions: alcohol (wine and champagne), avocados, and blueberries.