Avoid Bright Screens Before Bed
The blue light emitted by cell phone, TV, and computer screens inhibits the production of melatonin, a hormone that controls your sleep-wake cycle . A poorly regulated sleep cycle can really take a toll on sleep quality.
Without enough sleep and rest, the neurons in our brain become overworked. They can no longer coordinate information, making it more difficult to access memories. Roughly an hour before bedtime, turn off your devices and allow your brain to unwind.
The Top 10 Foods For A Healthy Brain
Brain health is an important topic for people of all ages, but it only gets more relevant to our well-being as we age. Luckily, promoting brain health can be absolutely delicious, as our Executive Chef Tony Aloise demonstrates with his list of the Top-10 Brain Foods .
Help you think more clearlyBenefit memory and other cognitive functions
Supports a healthy nervous systemReduces likelihood of AlzheimersHelps control blood sugar levels
Improves motor function and memory
Reduces risk of inflammation and cancerControls blood pressure
Protects nerve cells in the brain called astrocytesMaintains healthy blood pressure Lowers cholesterol
Helps prevent dementia, particularly in womenStrengthens synapsesBoosts neurotransmittersRegulates water retention
And there you have it! These are all foods that you can find in every one of our Senior Lifestyle communities. The best part is that they dont just promote brain healththey are mouth-wateringly delicious as well! Keep an eye out for some fun and easy recipes in future posts
Brain Foods To Boost Focus And Memory
What does the food you eat have to do with how your brain functions? Turns out an awful lot. While weve always known that what we eat affects our bodies and how we look, scientists are also learning more and more that what we eat takes a toll on our brains. Yes, brain foods matter .
See, our bodies dont like stress. Who does? When were stressed out whether its physical, like someone jumps out at you from a dark alley, or mental, like you have a major project due at work our bodies release inflammatory cytokines.
These little chemicals prompt the immune system to kick in and fight back against the stress through inflammation, as though stress is an infection. While inflammation helps protect us against illnesses and repairs the body when you do something like cut yourself, chronic inflammation is a different animal. Its been linked to autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis, anxiety, high blood pressure and more.
But what does this all have to do with food? Our gut helps keep our bodys immune responses and inflammation under control. Additionally, gut hormones that enter the brain or are produced in the brain influence cognitive ability, like understanding and processing new information, staying focused on the task at hand and recognizing when were full.
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Best Foods For Brain Health
- 12 Best Foods for Brain Health
Most people already understand that when they eat a healthy, nutritionally-dense diet, they feel better and have more energy. However, fewer people realize that the food they eat has a direct effect on their ability to think, learn and commit items to memory.
Numerous studies have now demonstrated a link between certain nutrients and improved cognitive performance. Not only do these brain tonic foods help you to perform your best, but also they protect brain cells and synapses against the degeneration that often plagues people as they age. Researchers even believe that these healthy foods may delay the onset or mitigate the symptoms of conditions like dementia and Alzheimers disease.
Here are 12 of the best foods for improving memory and brain function. Each one is readily available at most grocery stores and is easy to incorporate into an existing diet.
Types Of Foods To Support Memory
If you’re feeling forgetful, it could be due to a lack of sleep or a number of other reasons, including genetics, level of physical activity and lifestyle and environmental factors. However, there’s no doubt that diet also plays a role in brain health.
The best menu for supporting memory and brain function encourages good blood flow to the brain much like what you’d eat to nourish and protect your heart. Research is finding the Mediterranean Diet may help keep aging brains sharp, and a growing body of evidence links foods such as those in the Mediterranean diet with better cognitive function, memory and alertness.
Eat your veggies. You’re not likely to forget this message. Getting adequate vegetables, especially cruciferous ones including broccoli, cabbage and dark leafy greens, may help improve memory. Try a kale salad or substitute collard greens for a tortilla in your next sandwich wrap. Broccoli stir-fry also is an excellent option for lunch or dinner.
Be sweet on berries and cherries. Berries especially dark ones such as blackberries and blueberries, as wells as cherries are a source of anthocyanins and other flavonoids that may support memory function. Enjoy a handful of berries or pitted cherries for a snack, mixed into cereal or baked into an antioxidant-rich dessert. You can reap these benefits from fresh, frozen or dried berries and cherries
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Fruits And Vegetables Best Foods For Brain Health
- Spinach and leafy greens. These nutrient-dense vegetables are rich in magnesium, which helps dilate blood vessels, and boost blood flow to the brain.
- Asparagus. An incredible source of folate, asparagus is energy for your brain! Studies show that people with lower levels of folate tend to be more likely to experience depression.
- Oranges. Your body cant naturally make vitamin C, but its an essential nutrient for eyesight and healthy brain cells, so eat up. Oranges are also rich in flavonoids, shown to improve memory and cognition.
- Blueberries. Cancer-fighting antioxidants in many berries help protect the brain from oxidative stress believed to reduce risk of dementia and Alzheimers. Studies suggest blueberries support learning capability and motor skills.
Snacks Featuring Dark Chocolate
Chocolate is technically a seed, but we think that this beloved food deserves its own category!
Chocolate is rich in flavonoids, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds that contribute to improved mood, memory, focus, and attention.
Dark chocolate is better for your brain than milk chocolate, since it has more flavonoids and less sugar.
Also, theres some evidence that milk may interfere with the absorption of flavonoids.
No-Bake Chocolate Coconut Bars
Chocolate and coconut is a classic culinary combination.
If you like to snack on Mounds bars or chocolate-coated energy bars, youll love this healthy, no-bake Chocolate Covered Coconut Bar recipe.
Healthy Dipping Chocolate
The easiest way to make a healthy chocolate dip is to start with a high-quality dark chocolate bar.
Break up a chocolate bar and put the pieces in a glass bowl.
Microwave for about 1-2 minutes for each ounce of chocolate.
If you prefer a less intense chocolate experience, you might like this Dark Chocolate Greek Yogurt Dip for a healthy dipping chocolate.
I find berries, pineapple, bananas, and cherries are all greatly enhanced when dipped in chocolate. Yum!
Healthy Hot Chocolate
Calorie-laden beverages account for a substantial portion of the calories we consume from snacks.
A Starbucks vanilla frappuccino slides down easily, yet contains a jaw-dropping 400 calories.
You can see how easy it would be to drink yourself fat.
Heres our healthy, guilt-free version of hot chocolate.
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Supplements For Brain Function
In addition to making dietary changes, some people consider taking supplements to improve their brain function. But do these supplements actually work?
Taking vitamins B, C, or E, beta-carotene, or magnesium may improve brain function if a person has a deficiency in any of them. If a person does not have a deficiency, these supplements are unlikely to improve mental performance.
Best Foods For The Brain
This fruit is one of the healthiest ones you can consume and one of my all-time favorites. While avocados often get a bad rep because of their high fat content, its important to note that these green powerhouses are packed with monosaturated fats or the good kind, keeping blood sugar levels steady and your skin glowing.
Containing both vitamin K and folate, avocados help prevent blood clots in the brain as well as help improve cognitive function, especially both memory and concentration.
Theyre also rich in vitamin B and vitamin C, which arent stored in your body and need to be replenished daily. Plus, they have the highest protein and lowest sugar content of any fruit. Not too shabby!
Avocados creamy texture makes them a smart addition to smoothies and a replacement for fats in baked goods, or try these brain foods in one of these 50 amazing and easy avocado recipes.
It might be their funny shape or memories of bad recipes eaten during childhood, but beets seem to be an intimidating food for many people, even vegetable lovers. Thats a shame, because these root vegetables are some of the most nutritious plants you can eat.
They reduce inflammation, are high in cancer-protecting antioxidants and help rid your blood of toxins. The natural nitrates in beets actually boost blood flow to the brain, helping with mental performance. Plus, during tough workouts, beets actually help boost energy and performance levels. Try them in this borscht recipe.
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Best & Worst Foods For Brain Health According To Dietitians
What you eat can make a big difference in your brain health throughout your life. Learn which foods to add to your dietand which ones you should limitto improve memory and learning and reduce risk of age-related cognitive decline.
When it comes to what to eat to keep your thinker in tip-top shape, it’s actually a bit of a no-brainer . What’s good for the rest of your body is also good for your brain. Filling your plate with whole foods, more plants than animal foods, and lots of colorful produce goes a long way. In fact, overall dietary patterns that prioritize plant-based foods and contain less meat and processed foods are linked to both better brain function and reduced risk of brain-related diseases. Plant-based foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts and seeds are full of vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants and healthy fats that support your brain throughout your lifespan.
While your overall diet matters most, there are some foods that can give your brain an extra boostand a few that should be limited.
What Is The Mind Diet
When creating the MIND diet short for Mediterranean-DASH Diet Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay researchers combined elements of two existing diets known to improve heart health: the Mediterranean diet and the DASH diet.
The Mediterranean diet focus on lots of vegetables, fruits, nuts and heart-healthy oils, Linge says. When we talk about the DASH diet, the purpose is to stop high blood pressure, so were looking at more servings of fruits and vegetables, more fiber and less saturated fat.
In comparison, the MIND diet beefs up the amount of leafy greens, calls out whole grains and berries, focuses on fish and poultry and emphasizes the use of olive oil. It also includes some suggestions on foods you should consume less often: red meat, fried and fast foods, pastries, sweets and certain dairy products like cheese, butter and margarine.
The MIND diet ends up being high in folate, carotenoids, vitamin E, flavonoids and antioxidants, Linge says. All of these things seem to have potential benefits to the cognitive function.
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Sage Helps Slow Down The Mental Aging Process
Sage is an herb known for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, which can help protect the brain from age-related decline. It contains unique chemicals called terpenoids, which are thought to have neurological benefits and improve memory function. Its also a great source of Vitamin K so that you can enjoy its savory flavor without the guilt.
Popular dishes with sage include:
- Roasted potatoes with rosemary and sage
Tomatoes A Tasty Ingredient For Boosting Mental Health
Tomatoes are a great source of carotenoids and vitamin C, both of which help protect the brain from oxidative stress and reduce your risk for Alzheimers disease. Tomatoes also contain a powerful antioxidant called lycopene that is responsible for their red color. Studies have shown that this compound can increase blood flow to the brain, helping you think faster and more clearly.
Popular dishes with tomatoes include:
- Mediterranean diets
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Foods To Boost Your Brainpower
Eating well is good for your mental as well as your physical health. But which foods are particularly important to keep your grey matter happy and healthy?
Whether you want to optimise your nutrition during exam season or stay sharp in your next work meeting, paying attention to your diet can really pay off. Although theres no single brain food to protect against age-related disorders such as Alzheimers or dementia, thinking carefully about what you eat gives you the best chance of getting the nutrients you need for cognitive health and mood.
Eating a healthy, balanced diet that includes these 10 everyday brain-boosting foods may help to keep your memory, concentration and focus as sharp as can be.
Try Acronyms Abbreviations And Mnemonics
Mnemonic devices can be in the form of acronyms, abbreviations, songs, or rhymes.
Mnemonics have been tested since the 1960s as an effective strategy for students. Youve probably been taught a few mnemonic devices for remembering long lists. For example, the colors of the spectrum can be remembered with the name ROY G. BIV .
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Best Foods To Boost Your Brain And Memory
Your brain is kind of a big deal.
As the control center of your body, its in charge of keeping your heart beating and lungs breathing and allowing you to move, feel, and think.
Thats why its a good idea to keep your brain in peak working condition.
The foods you eat play a role in keeping your brain healthy and can improve specific mental tasks, such as memory and concentration.
This article lists 11 foods that boost your brain.
Tea Delicious Drink For Reduced Risk Of Neurological Diseases
Tea is rich in flavonoids, the antioxidants that give the tea leaves their deep green color. These nutrients are abundant in black and oolong teas especially. Flavonoids can lower your risk of developing neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimers by helping to prevent oxidative stress within your brain.
Additional benefits of tea include:
- Improved cardiovascular health
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Nuts A Rich Source Of Omega Three Fatty Acids
Nuts are packed with omega-three fatty acids, antioxidants , and other nutrients that help improve cognitive function. Theyre also a great way to get your daily fiber intake. The best choices include walnuts, almonds, sunflower seeds, and pumpkin seeds!
Popular dishes with nuts include:
- Trail mix
- Nut butter and spreads
Now Onto The Good Fats
- Nuts & Seeds almonds, walnuts, brazils, hazelnuts, sunflower, sesame, chia, hemp, flax and pumpkin. Theyre all anti-inflammatory and rich in sterols, stanols, fiber, minerals, and vitamin E, that protect brain cells from oxidative damage and boost thinking, creativity and cognitive function.
- Oily Fish. Omega 3 rich fish salmon, tuna, herring, mackerel, sardines and trout. With 97% of people being deficient in omega 3, have a think about the last time you ate fish. I realized when I was at the market last week that it had been a while since I bought fish. I kinda shocked myself. So I bought a beautiful locally caught piece of salmon, cooked the whole fillet and ate it all week with a bunch of wilted greens and seeds. Then I had shortbread. I have work to do. If you cant stand fish, which happens, check out my Take This Omega Boost on SproutRight.com. Swallow that omega instead of eating it. You need both, but one is better than none.
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Need Help Choosing Supplements
If youre not sure whats right for you or your family and where to start, book a 15 minute call with me to get clear on whats the priority. Ive had a bunch of calls with many listeners this week, and they feel more confident with what they thought and then order.
I wish you a focused, upbeat and light week while including all these brain supportive foods all while you EAT THIS one mouthful at a time.
Avocado Packed With Healthy Unsaturated Fats And Vitamin E
Avocados are not only delicious and healthy, but they may support brain health. Unsaturated fats in avocados can reduce high blood pressure and reduce the effects of cognitive decline. Lowering high blood pressure can also lead to helping with dementia prevention.
Popular dishes with avocado include:
- Avocado toast
Why Do So Many Americans Experience Chronic Inflammation
Diet plays a big role in inflammation. The Standard American Diet is chock full of inflammatory foods that are highly processed, fried, and comprised of refined flours and sugars.
The good news? An anti-inflammatory plant-based diet can protect against chronic inflammation and many of the diseases that accompany it.