When it comes to staying sharp, you are what you eat. That’s why I am excited to share this blog from guest writer, Meredith Walker.
5 Ways Your Diet Impacts Brain Health
As you get older, you may think that staying in shape and eating right isn’t as important, since you’re not squeezing into bikinis nearly as often. But paying attention to your diet is crucial as you age. The foods we eat directly impact more than just our waistlines: they affect eyesight, cholesterol levels, heart health, diabetes risk, energy, sleep cycles, and even brain health. Just as regular physical exercise and brain exercise — like crossword puzzles, problem-solving, foreign language classes and social interaction — keep your mind sharp and healthy longer, your diet also plays an important role in preserving brain health. Here are the top five ways you can eat for your mind.
1. Omega-3 fatty acids: Omega-3 fatty acids are vital nutrients that you need for brain health. They help control your mood and keep your brain sharp, and can be found in foods like salmon and cold-water fish, walnuts, soybeans, and flaxseeds.
2. Antioxidants: Eating a diet rich in antioxidants can slow cognitive decline. Foods that are rich in the best kinds of antioxidants include red beans, blueberries, pinto beans, cranberries, strawberries, artichokes, kale, apples and black beans.
3. Alcohol: Alcohol, when consumed in moderation, is often touted as a heart-healthy indulgence. But recent research has shown that alcohol actually shrinks your brain.
4. Cholesterol: Foods that are high in cholesterol may increase your chances of developing Alzheimer’s. Eat a low-cholesterol diet and eat foods with mono-and polyunsaturated fats when possible.
5. Don’t overdo it: Calorie restriction is a controversial health tip, and while it’s important to eat enough calories per day to keep your energy up and your body functioning properly, moderate calorie restriction may help you live longer and increase the production of nerves in the brain.
Preserving brain power and mental elasticity requires a well-rounded approach to healthy living. Regular sleep schedules, an active lifestyle and a sensible, low-cholesterol, low-calorie diet all contribute to staying sharp as you age.
This post was contributed by Meredith Walker, who comes to us from an organization that helps people to navigate how to get amasters of healthcare degrees. She welcomes your feedback at MeredithWalker1983 at gmail.com and Marbles thanks her for contributing some great content.
I was very excited to have Meredith Walker write for us this week, and I agree that nutrition can have a significant impact on your brain. For even more guidance, the following are on the Marbles list of 20 Foods that are Good for the Brain:
3. Colorful and citrus fruits
5. Cruciferous and leafy green vegetables
9. Whole grains
10. Pulses and beans
15. Calcium-rich foods
16. Iron-rich foods
17. Carbohydrate-rich foods
18. Supplemental herbs
19. Organic and plant oils
Wonder why these make the list or want more information? Take a look at the detailed list in our Brain Tips section.
To learn even more about the relationship between what you eat and your mind as well as for some great recipes, I recommend The Brain Power Cookbook.
Be sure to join us on Wednesday, June 17th for the Grand Opening of our new store at the Westfield Old Orchard Shopping Center. If you can’t make it out to Old Orchard, stop by our original store on Grand Avenue – we’ll be celebrating there as well! Both locations will be serving brain-healthy refreshments.