5 Superfoods Your Brain Needs to Stay Young
Did you know that cognitive decline can begin as early as your late 20s and early 30s? A University of Virginia study published in 2009 discovered “top performances in some of the tests were accomplished at the age of 22. A notable decline in certain measures of abstract reasoning, brain speed and in puzzle-solving became apparent at 27.”
Considering the life expectancy age in the U.S. is 78.69, that’s a lot of years to live with decreased brain function. But there’s good news here: We can improve our brain’s function based on our life choices. We can actually control how smart we become!
Nutrition is the very basic foundation of all health, including brain health, so making wise choices in what foods to eat not only helps your body stay healthy and trim but also helps improve your brain function. Do you suffer from brain fog and have a hard time concentrating at work? Combat those problems by looking at the foods you eat every day.
Add these Superfoods to Your Diet
Simply adding these superfoods while still relying on packaged foods for your meals won’t achieve maximum results but if you’re one who needs to make one change at a time so as not to get overwhelmed, then start here.
1. Dark leafy greens. Kale, spinach, and Swiss chard all contain vitamin K, lutein, folate and beta-carotene which combat inflammation, improve cognitive function, and reduce neurodegeneration. If you’re not a fan of salads, adopt the habit of drinking a green smoothie daily for breakfast.
2. Berries. Blueberries especially contain antioxidants and phytochemicals which have been shown to improve cognitive function. When you’re craving something sweet, reach for some blueberries instead of sugar-filled snacks or add a serving of blueberries to sweeten your green smoothie.
3. Avocado. Your brain needs healthy fats to function and avocados are filled with monounsaturated fats. Avocados are also important to your overall health because they help balance your LDL/HDL cholesterol ratio, which in turn increases the blood flow to your brain and reduces the risk of stroke. Add some avocado to your salads or make homemade guacamole.
4. Cauliflower and Broccoli. Both are filled with choline, which helps prevent memory loss and cognitive decline as we age. Check out Pinterest for simple yet tasty ways to prepare cauliflower and broccoli or add some raw pieces to your salads.
5. Turmeric. A yellow spice often used in Indian foods, turmeric is a potent anti-inflammatory which can also help improve memory. Its main compound, curcumin, is thought to increase the presence of BDNF, a growth hormone in the brain. Alzheimer’s disease and other brain disorders are linked to decreased levels of this hormone. Add turmeric to your foods or take a supplement daily.
Ditch the Packaged Foods
As you work your way through trying these superfoods, also work on avoiding any foods that come in a package. It definitely takes a shift in mindset but everything you need to make simple, healthy meals is found in the outer aisles of the supermarket. The one exception is frozen fruits and veggies. These are healthy options provided there’s no added sugar. Your body doesn’t know how to properly digest and eliminate these packaged chemicals and preservatives so why run the risk of building up this toxic load which might affect your brain?
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