Having a healthy diet and lifestyle will certainly help you when you’re older, and there are certain foods which can help with preventing conditions such as Alzheimer’s and dementia. We have researched some foods which are good for the brain - pick your favourite, and make sure your loved ones or clients are also getting enough nutrients and vitamins!
Of course vegetables made our list, they’re full of goodness! Especially leafy greens like kale, chard, and spinach, and cruciferous veggies (which ware basically cool weather vegetables and have flowers with four petals resembling a cross) like broccoli, cauliflower, and brussels sprouts - these have been linked to lower levels of cognitive decline as we get older.
Oily fish like salmon, tuna, mackerel, and sardines are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and are great for boosting memory as well as keeping the brain healthy. Other foods that includes omega-3 fatty acids are: beans, nuts, and olive oil.
Whilst we’re on oil, olive oil also includes an ingredient called oleocanthal which is a known antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, and has been found to help break down the amyloid plaques associated with Alzheimer’s.
Cold-pressed virgin coconut oil is also full of goodness, although it a pricier option than olive oil. It acts as a natural antibiotic, antioxidant, and helps improve the body’s use of insulin, boost thyroid function, and is also good for the heart as it has no cholesterol or trans-fats! It’s worth investing in coconut oil and it can be used in cooking and baking.
Berries and cherries contain anthocyanin which protects the brain from damage caused by free radicals. Berries and fruits like blueberries, blackberries, plums, etc also have anti-inflammatory properties, contain antioxidants, and lots of vitamin C and E.
Beans and legumes like peas, chickpeas, lentils contain iron, magnesium, and potassium which are all good for brain function. Use these foods in salads, curries, and stews for a healthy and filling meal.
Coffee and chocolate - yes, you heard that right! The caffeine and antioxidants in these yummy foods may help ward off age- related memory impairment, and caffeine has been used as therapeutics against Alzheimer’s.
Tomatoes, asparagus, carrots, beetroot and pumpkin are all high in vitamin A, folate, and iron which help with cognition. Just remember not to overcook them - go for al dente to make sure they keep all their goodness.
Cinnamon, sage, turmeric and cumin can all help break up brain plaque and reduce inflammation of the brain, which can cause memory issues related to dementia and Alzheimer’s. Use these spices in curries, stews, pies or soups.
Nuts like almonds, cashews, walnuts, hazelnuts, and peanuts all contain omega-3, omega-6, vitamin E, and magnesium which are great for boosting memory and keeping our brains healthy.