A good diet isn’t just about keeping your body healthy, it also keeps your brain healthy. The brain requires nutrients just like your heart, lungs or muscles do. How do you know what food is going to help your mental health though? Let’s take a look at some common foods, and how they can help your brain, both short and long term.
Fish -Specifically fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids are one of the best foods for brain health. These healthy fats have amazing brain power: A diet with higher levels of them has been linked to lower dementia and stroke risks and slower mental decline. The main sources of oily fish include salmon, trout, mackerel, herring, sardines, pilchards and kippers.
Tomatoes -Tomatoes are high in an antioxidant called lycopene, there is good evidence to suggest that lycopene, could help protect against the kind of free radical damage to cells which occurs in the development of dementia, particularly Alzheimer’s. To make sure you’re getting the most lycopene, make sure you’re eating real tomatoes (Ketchup doesn’t count!)
Berries -Several studies suggest that eating blueberries, and strawberries, may be effective in improving or delaying short term memory loss, helping with focus, and preventing overall age related mental decline. Most likely because berries are a natural source of the B vitamins, Vitamin K, and Vitamin C.
Avocados –A rich source of the antioxidant vitamin E. Studies have found that people who consume foods high in vitamin E are associated with a lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s. Avacodos are also a great source of essential fatty acids, folate and vitamin C.
Dark Chocolate- Dark chocolate not only tastes delicious, it’s good for your brain! Because it is high in antioxidants, and flavonoids. Don’t go overboard though, 1-2oz a day is enough to reap the benefits.
Olive oil- is a great source of monounsaturated fats, which have been shown to slow brain aging.
Garlic -According to a study published by The American Cancer Society, garlic may actually help prevent some types of brain cancer, thanks to the organo-sulfer compounds which kill glioblastoma (a type of cancer cell).
Water -Not only do brain functions like focus, and decision making become impaired with dehydration. But Brain tissue actually starts to shrink. Luckily this is probably the easiest one on the list to prevent. Make sure you get plenty of water every day!