How can you keep your brain healthy and mind focussed as you age? Many people think a decline in brain function is a natural part of aging. However, a well-nourished noggin is better able to aid every other system in your body. No matter your age, your brain will be sharper if you feed it right. The following foods — full of antioxidants, flavonoids, and other bioactive compounds — will nourish your brain throughout your lifetime. Read on for Healthy Superfoods That Nourish The Brain.
The monounsaturated fat in avocados contributes to healthy blood flow and, according to Ann Kulze, MD, “… Healthy blood flow means a healthy brain.” Avocados also help lower blood pressure, which is good since hypertension is a risk factor in cognitive decline. Avocados are high in calories, so enjoy 1/4 to 1/2 of an avocado per day. (Olive oil is another option for adding healthy monounsaturated fats to your diet.)
Legumes help stabilize blood glucose levels. Since the brain relies on glucose for fuel and can’t store it, the organ depends on foods like beans for a steady fuel supply. All legumes, especially lentils, are rich in folate, which protects brain cells from amino acids that impair brain functions. Half a cup of beans or lentils per day will fuel your brain.
3. Dark chocolate
Savor up to 1 ounce of dark chocolate daily and you’ll consume powerful antioxidants along with mood-enhancing endorphins. Non-Dutch process cocoa is also rich in flavonoids that can improve blood flow to the brain. The caffeine and other natural stimulants that dark chocolate contains can improve your concentration, too. Just enjoy in moderation! This out of all these Superfoods that nourish the brain should be the easiest to get on board with!
Coffee is good for your brain. Studies show the drink’s phenylindanes may reduce the risk of disorders like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. In fact, coffee often supplies the majority of antioxidants in a person’s diet! (It actually contains more essential antioxidants than green tea.) Remember, drink it in moderation (1 to 3 cups a day). And skip the creamers and sweeteners that add unnecessary fat and calories.
5. Colorful fruits and vegetables
Richly colored fruits and vegetables, like beets, blackberries, berries, carrots, watermelons, green beans, kiwis, plums, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, and tomatoes have high levels of antioxidants. This protects against the oxidative stress caused by free radicals, which is vital for a healthy brain.
Antioxidants also improve communication between brain cells. Beets contain natural nitrates that improve blood flow in the brain, and a flavonoid in berries (called anthocyanidin) concentrates in the hippocampus, where memory and learning occur. This flavonoid also protects brain cells from the aging effects of oxidation and inflammation.
Dark, leafy greens provide more nutrition (and antioxidants) than many other vegetables. The USDA advises eating at least 2 to 3 servings per week to lower your cancer risk. Common dark, leafy greens include beet greens, endive, lettuce, microgreens, spinach, and Swiss chard.
Great job! Reading this piece, Healthy Superfoods That Nourish The Brain is a great step towards eating healthier with a purpose.