Good nutrition is critical for overall health, and brain health is no exception. Eating certain foods can help your mental capacity as you age and protect your brain from disease. Research suggests that your diet can help shape your brain’s neural pathways, improve memory and increase learning capacity. Here are a few nutrient-rich foods to include in your diet to get the most out of your mental fitness.
- Tofu: Tofu is made from soybeans, which are high in omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s have been shown to boost brainpower, preventing age-related decline in memory and cognition.
- Bok Choy: This Chinese cabbage is an excellent source of vitamin K and folate, two nutrients that play a key role in mental health. They promote the production of new brain cells, as well as reduce inflammation and oxidative stress in the brain.
- Salmon: Salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which help nourish the brain and improve cognitive function. The protein content of salmon also makes it an excellent food for building muscle and reducing fat buildup.
- Walnuts: Walnuts are packed with antioxidants called polyphenols that protect against free radical damage and boost cognitive function.
- Soybeans: Soybeans contain plant estrogens known as phytoestrogens that may reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia by reducing oxidative stress to the brain.
- Almonds. Brain food extraordinaire, almonds are the perfect snack on-the-go. Rich in antioxidants, folate, magnesium and potassium, this nut helps prevent memory loss and improves cognitive function.
- Blueberries are loaded with antioxidants that fight inflammation and protect brain cells against damage. Studies show blueberries can improve memory and cognition among adults suffering from mild cognitive impairment linked with aging. Blueberries also contain a compound called anthocyanin that has been shown to protect the brain against oxidative stress and cell death associated with Alzheimer’s disease and other neurological disorders.