Food For Thought: Eat your way to a healthier Brain
In today’s health-conscious world, everyone knows and understands the importance of a healthy diet for physical wellbeing. We are encouraged to make healthier choices for a thinner waist, toned physique and healthy heart. But often, too little is said about the link between diet and Brain Health. Science has long shown that certain foods can increase brain activity, slow brain-ageing, lower the risk of strokes and other illness and improve general cognitive function. Below are some of the most powerful, brain-boosting, foods and some handy tips on cramming more of them into your diet.
Blueberries are a genuine superfood. Not only are they high in antioxidants which decrease the stress cells in the brain associated with ageing and cognitive decline, they have also been proven to boost concentration and memory, keeping your brain active and alert. Blueberries are also bursting with other nutrients such as vitamins C and E. Try it: Blueberries can easily be blended into smoothies and juices or eaten as a snack on move.
Often dismissed by dieters as a ‘fatty fruit’, Avocado is actually full of mono-saturated ‘good fats’ which help to decrease unhealthy cholesterol and defend your body against the risk of a stroke by keeping blood pressure low.
Folate in avocado also help to fight the formation of nerve fibres associated with
Try it:Smash and serve with toast, make a creamy guacamole, chop into salads, or even into milkshakes. It’s easy to get more brain-boosting avocado goodness into your diet.
It turns out your mother had a point when she told you to eat your greens all those years ago! Broccoli is packed full of vitamin K, a powerful nutrient, rarely found in multivitamins, that boosts general cognitive health and brain function as well as helping fight of heart disease and certain cancers! Broccoli is also full of choline which has been shown to improve and sharpen memory, and folic acid which defends your body against Alzheimer’s. Try it: Delicious in soup or perfect in pies, broccoli makes a tasty main ingredient. But you can also get more of the vitamin-packed goodness by adding broccoli to omelets, salads, frittatas and stir fries. Or, if you’re feeling adventurous, it’s also great in homemade juice!
Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds are not only another fantastic source of ‘good fats’ but also, even more importantly, packed full of nutrients like zinc and magnesium.
Zinc is essential to communication within the brain and directly improves the ability to learn and aids memory function. Magnesium, meanwhile, fight stress and improves brain function.
Try it:Nuts and seeds are ideal as a quick snack on the go, or they can be sprinkled onto salads and pasta dishes. ‘Go nuts’ to give any meal a brain boosting kick!
When it comes to looking after your brain health, fish really is the dish of the day! Fish is rich in Omega-3, a ‘good fat’ vital for body and brain function. However healthy you are, the body is mostly fat, and 60% of this is Omega-3! Eating more has been proven to increase brain volume and sharpen mental focus. Try it: Not only nutritious, fish is also an incredibly versatile ingredient. Try it in a soup or stew, add a twist to classic meal favourites such tacos or curry, or even eat it raw!