We are what we eat. It is as simple—and as complex as that. What we ingest affects every fiber of our being, including that critical space between our ears. In fact, the older we get, the more our brains need the right fuel to nourish and protect against damage and degeneration.
While there are no specific foods or food combinations that will definitely fend off Alzheimer’s, there are plenty of items on the shelves that are thought to specifically support senior nutrition and help reduce the risk of future dementia. Check out these top choices.
Avocados Get an A+
Yes, avocados are high in fat, but they are monounsaturated fats, the “good” kind, that keep your skin glowing and your blood sugar stable. Rich in vitamin K and folate, these friendly fruits help protect against strokes while boosting both memory and concentration. Their creamy texture makes them a great choice for smoothies or a replacement for less beneficial fats in baked goods.
Beets are Unsung Heroes
Beets are like sensible shoes. They are not cool, but boy do they get the job done! Beets are not only loaded with cancer-protective antioxidants, they also contain natural nitrates which actually increase blood flow to the brain, enhancing cognitive performance. It’s easy to roast them and create a tasty side dish or toss them in a salad.
Blueberries or Brain Berries?
With loads of vitamin C, K and fiber, blueberries are off the charts when it comes to antioxidants. But, it is their high levels of gallic acid that protect the brain from stress and degeneration. You don’t have to be terribly creative to get your daily dose of this brain food. Simply throw a bunch over cereal in the morning, add to a smoothie or salad or just grab a fistful and eat them for a snack.
Healing Bone Broth
Bone broth is chicken soup for the brain. Its high levels of collagen help heal intestinal inflammation while its amino acids like proline and glycine support the immune system and improve memory. It’s easy to find a great recipe or you can find a ready-made brew that will do the trick.
Eat Your Broccoli
Remember when you were a kid, and everybody was bugging you to eat your broccoli? Well, if you had eaten your broccoli, you would remember! Thanks to its high levels of Vitamin K and choline, broccoli helps keep the memory firing on all cylinders. And one cup provides you with more than 100% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin C. If plain broccoli turns you off, there are plenty of recipes to spruce up its appeal.
This is Your Brain on Chocolate
Chocolate has flavonoids which can lower your blood pressure and improve blood flow to both the heart and brain. But the good news comes with a caveat: Skip the milk or white chocolate and treat your brain to dark chocolate with at least 70% cocoa. The darker the chocolate, the better the health benefits. Those chocolate covered berries or chocolate chip cookies will taste just as yummy with dark chocolate and you’ll feel less guilt for the calories!
For more brain healthy nutrition tips, try an active adult cooking class. You’ll have a ball with friends while cooking up healthy, delicious meals full of the foods you need to keep you sharp and sassy. It’s a no-brainer—for your brain!