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Foods that Boost Brain Health

Aug 17, 2020 | Family Resources

You are what you eat.

That was the conventional wisdom handed down by our parents. They probably weren’t sure why it was true, but they saw it played out in daily life. They didn’t need research to confirm that a carrot is better for you than a cookie.

But we can thank science for identifying certain foods as especially good for healthy brain function. The even better news is it’s not just veggies that make the cut, but also a flavorful assortment of delicious foods that everyone can enjoy.

Let’s take a closer look.

Omega-3s

This healthy fat is found in foods like salmon, sardines, flax, and chia seeds (easy to put in smoothies), walnuts, and some enriched eggs. Research shows that Omega-3s boost memory and protect against cognitive decline.

Green Tea and Matcha Tea

A 2014 study found that green tea consumption may improve cognitive function. Even better than regular green tea is matcha tea. That’s because matcha is made by shading green tea plants for 30 days before the harvest, which results in a chlorophyll spike. The harvested leaves are then made into a finely ground powder. This powder is packed full of antioxidants and can be mixed with hot water to make a tea or used in smoothies or even baked goods.

Herbs

Rosemary and turmeric have both shown promise in supporting healthy brain function. In rosemary, it’s the carnosic acid that slays free radicals. Research shows that turmeric has the potential to help with memory. While both of these herbs are available in supplement form, no supplements should be taken without a doctor’s approval. Instead, focus on eating these herbs in their flavorful natural forms. Try sprinkling turmeric on roasted veggies or eggs. Rosemary pairs well with potatoes or any meat.

Fruits and Veggies

While all fruits and vegetables are good for us, there are a few that pack even more of a punch. Spinach is high in folic acid which can help prevent dementia. Avocado contributes to healthy blood flow. Broccoli is high in chlorine and vitamin K, which can contribute to focus. Beets can boost attention span. And blueberries protect the brain from oxidative stress.

Saving the Best for Last

According to a 2018 study,  dark chocolate is “rich in flavonoids that can have effects on body composition and cognitive performance.” The only caveat? The darker the chocolate the better, so aim for a piece that consists of at least 70 percent cocoa beans.

A healthy diet is good for brain health, but it also makes us feel better and keeps us energized. At The Blake, we make sure our chef-prepared meals are not only delicious but full of the nutrients we all need to feel our best. If you’d like to learn more, schedule a tour today.

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