5 Foods for the Brain

By Rose Reisman

We know that certain foods improve or can harm our health. Excess fat and calorie rich foods can increase the risk of obesity, diabetes type 2, heart and stroke disease and certain cancers. But often we forget about our brain health.

Poor eating can affect our mental abilities just as it hurts our physical being. There are no conclusive studies that diet can prevent dementia or Alzheimer’s but there is strong research being done on those foods that can enhance your memory, focus, alertness and ability to learn. Foods that are beneficial for your physical well-being are also recommended for more efficient blood flow to your brain. Let’s look at 5 of the best foods for our brain:

* Coffee – In the past we were told to limit our coffee, now we’ve been given the green light. A Finnish study indicated that drinking between 3 – 5 cups daily while in your 40s and 50s reduced Alzheimer’s disease by 65% compared to those who drank less. The antioxidants appear to be the reason.

* Blueberries – Considered a superfood, these gems can reduce the effects of Alzheimer’s by protecting the brain from oxidative stress. Dr. Steven Pratt, author of Superfoods, showed that blueberries improved the learning capacity and motor skills of aging rats.

* Fish – Fattier fish such as salmon, sardines and mackerel are rich in Omega 3 fatty acids which are crucial for brain functioning and development. Studies show that these acids lower the risk of stroke and dementia.

* Nuts and seeds – Both contain vitamin E which is correlated with less cognitive decline as one ages. Just a handful or ounce a day can be beneficial

* Avocados – Yes, there are a considerable amount of calories and fat in avocados. But they contain heart healthy fats which contribute to a healthy blood flow, needed by our bodies and brains. Avocados lower blood pressure which can affect our cognitive abilities. You only need to highlight your meals with them to cut back on the calories and fat.

It’s key to maintain a healthy body weight, eat healthy and exercise for all the pieces of the puzzle to fit.

 

Rose Reisman is a reknowned expert in improving the way Canada lives through diet, nutrition, and lifestyle.

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