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Nutrition and Brain Health: Foods to Eat to Maintain a Healthy Mind

Posted by Community Senior Life on Jul 1, 2020 8:00:00 AM

CSL July Blog

Taking care of our health and being conscious of the foods we eat contribute greatly to our long-term health. Practicing healthy eating habits can help to prevent the development of certain diseases and ailments.

It is no secret that diet plays a significant role in our health, but did you know that certain foods are beneficial to maintaining brain health and memory? Community Senior Life values the importance of a healthy diet and nutrition for brain health. To encourage individuals to lead a healthier lifestyle, we have gathered a list of five foods that are particularly beneficial to brain health and maintaining a sharp mind and memory.

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Blueberries 

Blueberries, and other darker-colored berries, are packed full of antioxidants and other nutrients that are beneficial in any diet. They have also been found to improve brain health and decrease cognitive decline. The Nurses’ Health Study showed that “greater intakes of blueberries and strawberries were associated with slower rates of cognitive decline…[and] that berry intake appears to delay cognitive aging by up to 2.5 years.”

Furthermore, blueberries have been shown to improve motor function, reversing loss of balance and coordination as we age. And, because berries contain anthocyanins, they are effective in boosting memory function, as well.

We encourage you to incorporate this powerful berry into your diet. Add them to your morning oatmeal or blend in a delicious smoothie! 


Spinach

Spinach, and other leafy green vegetables, such as kale and collards, contain high amounts of vitamin K, lutein, folate, and beta carotene. According to Harvard Health Publishing, “research suggests these plant-based foods may help slow cognitive decline.” Spinach, in particular, contains additional nutrients such as B vitamins, vitamin E, and L-tyrosine. “These nutrients can help improve your memory and mental focus.”

To further support the importance of spinach for brain health, a “study, published in the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology…found that eating leafy green vegetables such as spinach, kale, asparagus, and Brussel sprouts every day can cut the risk of dementia.”

Avocados

Since avocados are classified as a monounsaturated fat and contain high levels of folate, potassium, and omega-3 fatty acids, they provide excellent nutrition for brain health. “As a monounsaturated fat, the avocado can lower blood pressure and increase blood flow – two factors that can reduce a person’s risk for cognitive decline.” Furthermore, potassium and omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to be effective in lowering a person’s blood pressure.

In relation to Alzheimer’s disease, specifically, alzheimers.net states that the folate found in avocados are said to “prevent the formation of brain tangles thought to cause Alzheimer’s.”

From salads to guacamole or adding them on top of a slice of toast, it’s easy to add avocados to your meals!  

Eggs

“Eggs are a good source of several nutrients tied to brain health, including vitamins B6 and B12, folate, and choline (healthline.com).” 

Egg yolks contain highly concentrated amounts of choline, a nutrient that “is essential for neurodevelopment and brain function.” Our bodies use choline to create neurotransmitters that help to regulate mood and memory. By eating eggs on a regular basis, you are feeding your body the nutrients it needs to promote healthy cognitive functioning, memory, and mood regularity.

Salmon

Salmon and other fatty fish are a great source for omega-3 fatty acids. According to healthline.com, “your brain uses omega-3s to build brain and nerve cells, and these fats are essential for learning and memory.” Furthermore, adding omega-3s to your diet may slow age-related cognitive decline and aid in the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia.

Nutrition and brain health go hand-in-hand. Community Senior Life, with independent living, assisted living and memory care communities throughout Alabama and Florida, knows the value of maintaining a healthy, balanced diet. Living an independent and healthy lifestyle starts with how we take care of and what we put into our bodies. Dining services at Community Senior Life communities are offered to help residents achieve and maintain a balanced diet that promotes health and wellness!  

We invite you to visit our website to learn more about what we offer and to find a community near you.

 

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