Five foods you can implement into your diet to keep the gray matter healthy
The brain is an incredible muscle that can conjure memories of spending time at grandma’s house as a child after smelling baking bread, or retain the main points of a good book you just couldn’t put down. But as we age, our brains change, and we can sometimes find ourselves having a harder time recalling things.
So how do we take care of and build up our gray matter? We can start by maintaining a healthy lifestyle that includes getting enough rest, exercising, cognitive practice, positivity and nutrition. Check out the top five brain foods below and start implementing them into your recipes.
Avocadoes – Great in guacamole, even better for your brain. Avocados, a unique fruit with numerous health benefits, contain monounsaturated fat that helps blood flow to the brain. In addition, avocadoes also help to lower blood pressure, which can reduce your chances of hypertension or stroke. Slice open an avocado and enjoy as is (pitted of course), or use it to create the perfect bowl of guacamole. Pass the chips, please!
Fish – Your brother’s fish tale keeps growing every year, but now you can help him fill in the holes of his story after adding salmon and other fatty fish to your diet. Packed full of Omega 3 fatty acids, fish is a delicious and healthy way to build up your brain and aid in recalling thoughts and memories. Fish is versatile and can be prepared in many different ways. Think baked, broiled or grilled. Pair it with brown rice and a vegetable of your choice, or create your own fish taco extraordinaire for the next party.
Broccoli – A member of the cabbage family, this veggie powerhouse is a star in keeping your brain happy, healthy and sound. Broccoli contains Vitamin K, which creates a fat called sphingolipid that is present in brain cells. Broccoli also has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties to help protect the brain from damage. Knowing all this, we can thank our mothers for making us stay at the table until we finished our veggies.
Blueberries – These beauties may be small, but they pack a punch when it comes to brain health. Blueberries contain antioxidants and other beneficial properties that may reduce symptoms of dementia and Alzheimer’s. Toss a handful of berries on your oatmeal or add a cup to a smoothie for a cool, refreshing drink. If you still aren’t convinced that blueberries are a super food, the antioxidants also allow your brain cells to better communicate with each other. It gives internal dialogue a whole new meaning.
Nuts – Not only do they make a great midday snack, a handful of nuts is a great way to jumpstart your brain and your heart. Nuts contain several nutrients, including healthy fats, antioxidants and Vitamin E. Vitamin E helps protect your brain’s membranes from slow, mental decline. All nuts are good for you, in moderation, but walnuts may be the best nut for your brain. In addition to containing the three nutrients above, it also contains Omega-3 fatty acids as well.