Can The Foods You Eat Affect Brain Health?
Foods That Promote Brain Health
Did you know that what you eat affects more than just your body? It can also affect your mind. Brain Awareness Month in June focuses on the importance of brain and memory health. Certain foods promote concentration, sharpened focus, better mental well-being, and improved memory. Here are 11 foods you may not know support a healthy brain (Healthline):
- Fish: A portion of your brain is comprised of omega-3 fatty acids which are essential to memory and learning. Fish with this healthy fat, like salmon and tuna, may help reduce memory-related illness.
- Blueberries: The antioxidants in this powerhouse berry provide properties that help reduce stress and inflammation. Several studies also show that blueberries support brain health and memory.
- Broccoli: Full of vitamin K, broccoli is a food that promotes memory and cognitive function. This nutritious vegetable is also rich in antioxidants that may aid against brain damage.
- Oranges: Vitamin C, found plentifully in oranges, has been known to strengthen brain function. Studies show this vitamin can reduce your risk of depression, anxiety, and other brain-related conditions.
- Nuts: Nuts are rich in vitamin E, which has proven to help slow mental decline. Walnuts are especially beneficial for brain function as they include omega-3 fatty acids.
- Eggs: Eggs are jam-packed with nutrients that strengthen your brain. Choline helps regulate memory and mood, folate fights mental decline, and vitamins B6 and B12 may reduce your risk of depression.
- Turmeric: This spice includes curcumin, an active ingredient that may benefit memory, lessen depression symptoms, and support the growth of new brain cells.
- Pumpkin Seeds: This tasty snack is a great source of iron, zinc, copper, and magnesium. These nutrients provide numerous benefits, such as improved nerve control, memory, and learning ability.
- Dark Chocolate: Yes, chocolate can actually boost your mood! Enjoyed in moderation, dark chocolate, in particular, supports focus and brain function!
- Coffee: While caffeine is best consumed in moderation, a cup of coffee in the morning can aid with increased alertness, improved mood, and sharpened concentration.
- Green Tea: Like with coffee, the caffeine in green tea can provide benefits. This tea’s properties also may reduce the risk of brain-related conditions like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
Watch this video from Mayo Clinic on foods that can benefit brain health, as well as as heart health!
10 Refreshing Smoothies To Start Your Day
Start your morning off right with fruits and veggies!
Find these recipes on FoodNetwork.com!
Make The Most Of Your Annual Physical Exam
Even if you participate in a health screening, it is good practice to schedule a yearly appointment with your doctor to discuss your results!
- Prepare questions – Consider writing down anything you want to discuss ahead of time so that you don’t forget.
- Be honest – Your doctor will likely ask you about lifestyle habits (such as smoking or drinking). Answering with honesty can ensure they have an accurate picture of your overall health. If you are visiting a new doctor, prepare to discuss medical history, vaccinations, etc.
- Be proactive – Don’t be afraid to take notes, ask follow-up questions, or request more information about something!
Source: National Institutes of Health
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