1.Fill Up on Fruits and Veggies
Good nutrition helps you avoid diseases that make life tough on your brain. Fruits and vegetables—especially if they’re green and leafy—are a powerhouse for brain health. Eating 3 to 5 half-cup portions of fruit and vegetables will not only add color to your diet, they prolong the health of your grey matter as well.
Up the Antioxidants
Antioxidants neutralize free radicals—groups of atoms that can damage cells and are believed to accelerate the progression of cancer, cardiovascular disease, and age-related diseases. A diet rich in antioxidants may also keep the brain operating at its peak to help reduce the risk of conditions such as Alzheimer’s.
10 Brain Foods Rich in Antioxidants:
- Whole grains
- Red Grapes
- Green Tea
3. Plump Up Your Processing Power with Omega-3
Your brain is comprised of at least 60% fat. It’s the fatty or lipid part of your brain that helps rapidly transmit information across your neural networks. Our bodies don’t naturally produce omega-3 fatty acids, so it’s essential to include them in your diet. Why? Eating omega-3 fatty acids may contribute to maintaining proper fat in your brain, boosting your brain’s processing power and fighting mental health decline. In fact, research demonstrates a relationship between eating several ounces of salmon a week and both improved cognition and reduced risk of dementia. So it makes sense to seek out the sources of omega-3 fatty acids.
7 Sensational Sources of Omega-3 Fatty Acids:
- Cold Water Oily Fish – salmon, albacore tuna, mackerel, trout and sardines.
- Walnuts – known as brain food for more than their wrinkled appearance-a 1/4 cup provides 90.8% of your daily requirement of essential fats
- Other Nuts – Brazil Nuts, Hazelnuts, Pecans, Almonds ~ a great snack instead of chocolate or sweets
- Leafy Green Vegetables ~ think spinach, Swiss chard or kale
- Seeds – flax, pumpkin and sesame seeds are best
- Oils – Canola, Rapeseed, Linseed/Flaxseed or Soybean Oil can usually be found in your local supermarket.
- Eggs – egg yolks are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids
4. Cut the Calories
Research indicates that being overweight may lead to an increased risk of decline in brain function later in life. In fact, overweight or obese individuals in their 40’s may be more prone to developing Alzheimer’s as seniors. Metabolic processes are initiated by the burning of calories and can have the potential to affect cognitive function. As a result, a healthy caloric intake can increase cognitive functioning, while overeating can increase the vulnerability of cells to damage.
You may think that middle age and weight gain go hand-in-hand. The truth is, they don’t have to. Simply cutting your calories may be one solution to increasing your longevity and your brain’s staying power.
3 Ways to Curb Your Consumption:
- Consume only 80% of what you intend to eat at each meal.
- Eat slowly. Savor every bite as if it were your last.
- Make vegetables (or fruits) the largest portion in your meal.
5. Spare the Sodium & Cholesterol
Excessive sodium and cholesterol in your diet can be deadly and lead to high blood pressure and increased buildup on your blood vessel walls. These nutritional no-no’s have been linked to heart attack and stroke. And, when it comes to your brain, lifestyle factors like high blood pressure and cholesterol can contribute to dementia. That’s why it’s essential to keep a lid on cholesterol.
4 Foolproof Ways to Fight Cholesterol:
- Get back to basics. The closer to nature the food, the healthier. Make fresh food your first choice.
- Punt the preservatives and processed foods. Foods like pizza, canned vegetables and soups, frozen dinners and smoked or processed meats are high in sodium. Limit or eliminate them.
- Go easy on animal products. Meats, and animal byproducts such as butter, milk, cheese and eggs can contribute to high cholesterol.
- Be stingy with salt. Try cooking and eating your meals without shaking on the salt.
Original article here