Okay so as I’m sitting here with this great idea about which foods are best for a healthy brain, mine stops working. Of course. Let’s start from the beginning and maybe I’ll catch up by the time we’re done.
We all know food is important. By why? Other than filling our stomachs and providing nutrients for our gut to spread to various body parts so they can preform their jobs, food is the key to a healthy brain. Obviously the brain is the control center, the pilot, the single most important part of a human being. You’re only gone for good when your brain is gone. So to help you live a long (and healthier) life it only makes sense to start with the thing you literally cannot live without.
Blueberries, for example, are one of the best brain foods on the planet. They help reduce stress and can help reduce the symptoms of diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia. It’s a widely believed medical opinion that 1 cup of blueberries a day is best for brain health.
Deep-water fish (such as wild salmon, which is a clean eats option) are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids. These are an essential part of brain functions. Even in small amounts fish like wild salmon, herring, and sardines, eaten two or three times a week will be a great help to the fatty blob of connective tissue that keeps your heart beating.
Nuts and seeds are as important to your brain as they are to your heart. Walnuts, hazelnuts, Brazil nuts, almonds, cashews, peanuts, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, and flax seed all contain just enough vitamin E to help you keep your cognitive functions sharp as you age (and we’re doing all this to make sure you keep aging for a long time).
Avocados, which are admittedly a fatty fruit, are a great way to justify having guacamole with every meal. The delicious and nutritious avocado has monounsaturated fat which helps regulate healthy blood flow. Healthy blood flow provides the needed oxygen to your brain. Oxygenated brain = healthy brain. With this healthy blood flow you will get the added benefit of lower blood pressure. A stable blood pressure helps prevent stress on your brain and lowers the risk of hypertension.
Beans are great for stabilizing your glucose. The brain uses glucose like fuel, but it can’t store any away as a backup. Eating a half cup of beans every day can help keep the amount of glucose just right so your brain isn’t running on empty. This includes navy beans, lentils, red kidney beans, and black beans.
If you know how to eat a pomegranate fruit, congratulations, because I do not. As an alternate source of the antioxidants this fruit provides (if you’re like me) pomegranate juice is just as good. Antioxidants are the things that help protect your body from free radicals and unfortunately your brain is at the highest risk of attack. Not to fear! Pomegranate juice (diluted with water due to the high amounts of added sugar) will help keep everything in working order.
Dark chocolate! Yes you read that right, dark chocolate is actually good for your brain and everything else in your body. Just like a glass of wine, this one can be harmful if you have too much of it. Dark chocolate (the higher the percentage, the healthier and more natural it is) is full of brain health helpers like more antioxidants and even caffeine. The release of endorphins that this tasty treat triggers are perfect for naturally boosting your mood, and the caffeine provides a “get up and go” that will also get your blood pumping and carrying oxygen to the brain.
I guess I managed to pull it together! Maybe it was the help of my fresh brewed tea – which is also a great brain health booster.