In light of June being Alzheimer’s Awareness Month, it is fitting that we dedicate time to brain health. We all know that saying “you are what you eat.” But most of the time, we associate our diets with the effects our food has on our external bodies – losing weight, gaining weight, getting in shape, and so on. However less tangible, the food we put into our bodies has a direct effect on our brain health and function as well.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that our brains need certain nutrients to function optimally. And the older we get, the more quality nutrients we require to keep our brains healthy and functioning optimally. To boost your memory and keep your brain moving quickly, considering adding the following foods to your diet.
1. Healthy fats. Our brain is highly dependent on fats. So many people steer clear of any type of fats, but fats are fuel for our brains that keep us focused and quick on our feet. Not to mention, fats help keep us fuller longer, which keeps hunger at bay. Incorporating foods filled with unsaturated fats (also known as “good” fats) is essential to your brain health. Examples of the best fatty foods include seeds, nuts, avocados, olives or olive oils, coconut or coconut oils.
2. Antioxidants. Foods rich in antioxidants are not only important to protecting us against brain diseases, but also help to maintain the synapses in our brain working properly by reducing inflammation. Fruits and vegetables like blueberries, broccoli, beets and celery are all examples of antioxidant-rich brain foods. These are all high in fiber too, which will aid in maintaining a healthy weight and a healthy gut.
3. Omega-3s. By now, you probably know how important omegas are for our bodies. Turns out, they are also great for our brains. Most fish and many nuts and seeds are rich in the necessary Omega-3s that help our minds function optimally (think: salmon, walnuts, chia seeds). If you feel you aren’t able to get enough of these foods into your diet, talk to your doctor about supplements high in Omega-3s that you can incorporate into your diet instead.
Inter Valley Health Plan hosts classes regularly on health and vitality. For a full list of classes in your area, please visit forhealthandliving/ivhpevents