Not feeling as sharp witted as you would like? Well here is some food for thought: you are what you eat. Adopting healthy eating habits cannot only do wonders for your waistline but it can also boost your emotional, physical and mental health. Today we are giving you some food for thought by sharing some super foods that can help keep your brain healthy.
Oily fish is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for healthy brain function. Putting fish like salmon, sardines, herring and trout on the menu at least once a week is a wonderful and very easy way to boost your brainpower.
Walnuts are extremely rich in healthy fatty acids and vitamin E, which can help support good brain health. According to a paper published in the British journal of nutrition, walnuts can improve reasoning and even slow down cognitive deterioration as a result of age. If you are not a fan of walnuts – they are shaped like tiny brains after all – do not worry: all nuts are good for you. They all contain high amounts of essential fatty acids that will help keep your brain healthy.
Another great ‘smart’ snack are pumpkin seeds. They are high in omega 3 and 6 and contain high levels of zinc, which is important for optimal brain function. If you don’t like the taste of raw pumpkin seeds you can roast them in some olive oil and even flavour them with cinnamon, salt, pepper or wasabi. Still not a fan? Try mixing some pumpkin seeds into your yoghurt or muesli or sprinkle some pumpkin seeds in your soup or salad.
Blueberries are featured on every list of super foods and there is a good reason for that. Blueberries are packed with antioxidants and flavonoids, which can help, improve your memory, your learning and your general cognitive skills. The flavonoids in blueberries may even help slow down the cognitive decline that is often seen in people with brain diseases like dementia or Alzheimer’s.
Broccoli is one of the best vegetables for good brain health. It contains high levels of vitamin K which helps support good brain health and can help slow down the deterioration of the brain. Other vitamin K-rich vegetables are kale, spinach, cabbage and Brussels sprouts. Boosting your diet with these healthy leafy greens will keep your mind sharp and focused at any age. Your kids may complain when you serve them another portion of green brain food, but trust us; they will thank you for it later.
Another great example of green goodness for the brain is avocado. Avocados are full of nutrients that have a positive effect on brain health such as essential fatty acids, vitamin K, potassium and folate (folic acid). And there is more, because avocados are also known for lowering cholesterol and keeping your hearth healthy. Talk about a nutritional powerhouse!
Everyone knows that wholegrain products are healthy, but why exactly are they better for you than their white counterparts? The secret is in the sugar. Unlike white bread, pasta or rice, wholegrain products slowly release glucose into the blood stream, ensuring a steady supply of energy. This allows you to stay alert for longer periods of time without suffering from extreme energy highs or lows that can cause your brain to go into overdrive or into sleep mode.
With this information you are all set to start making clever food choices that will help keep your brain healthy and sharp. So come on, go for it! You know it is the smart thing to do.
Melissa Van Roosbroeck is a style and fashion writer and owner of Kiss & Make-up. Read more on her blog: Kiss & Make-up