The foods you eat can play a big role in how your brain ages through the years. Here are some easy and healthy suggestions for improving your odds of maintaining healthy brain function into your later years.
Before you reach for that candy bar, consider eating some almonds and blueberries instead. They can lower blood sugar and provide omega-3s and antioxidants to keep your brain healthy. Another good nut to eat is walnuts. You can put them on your salad, or use walnut oil in your salad dressing. Walnuts are also rich in omega-3s, which can decrease brain inflammation, a precursor to many cognitive problems. It also keeps oxygen-rich blood flowing to your brain.
There are some types of tea that are recommended for maintaining brain function. Gotu Kola tea, made from an ayurvedic herb, and used for centuries in India, helps regulate dopamine, the brain chemical that increases pleasurable feelings and has been shown to improve memory and focus. Tulsi tea and ginseng tea both contain herbs which can help reduce cortisol, the stress hormone, which can interfere with memory function. These herbs also help support alertness.
Try eating pears, apples, oranges and cantaloupes instead of reaching for candy or sweets. These fruits keep your blood sugar at healthy levels, while they also provide fiber and antioxidants that keep plaque from building in brain arteries. They also keep free radicals from causing foggy thinking.
Have oatmeal with cinnamon for a brain-healthy breakfast. The cinnamon will help keep your blood sugar level in check, while the oats scrub plaque from your arteries.
Another way to protect brain cells from free radicals is to eat foods with curry, which contains resveratrol, a powerful antioxidant.
Eat more brain-healthy fish like salmon and sardines. Just make sure it’s fish from the wild, and not farm-raised, which can contain harmful levels of mercury and other metals.
Finally, replace salt with a sodium free alternative. New evidence suggests that decreasing the salt in your diet can improve blood flow to the brain. These are just a few simple ideas that you can use to keep your brain in great working condition. Enjoy!