On days you’re feeling forgetful, foggy, or less alert, you might assume your current state of mind is due to factors such as stress, or lack of sleep, exercise, and fresh air. While these factors can certainly impact brain health, other underlying health problems can also contribute to that feeling of disconnection, including neurotransmitter imbalances, hormonal imbalances, poor nutrient absorption, and nutritional deficiencies.A way to naturally improve your brain health is to eat healthier foods. Healthy, whole foods often contain the vitamins and nutrients your body needs to encourage blood flow and improve cognition, alertness, and overall brain health.
Here are 4 different food types that can help promote healthy brain function.
1. Berries and cherries
While fruits of any kind are highly beneficial to your overall health, berries and cherries specifically are ideal for good brain health. Dark berries such as cherries, blackberries, and blueberries are high in flavonoids and anthocyanins, which are compounds that possess high levels of antioxidants that boost brain health.
Start adding berries and cherries to smoothies, desserts, and cereals, or snack on them plain throughout the day.
2. Dark leafy greens and cruciferous vegetables
Just like with fruits, all types of vegetables should be part of your daily diet to promote strong immune system function and good overall health. But if you’re looking to improve brain health, increase your intake of dark, leafy greens and cruciferous veggies. Countless health studies have shown that these types of vegetables improve attention, verbal abilities, alertness, and overall brain health.
Start consuming more kale, spinach, Swiss chard, collard greens, broccoli, arugula, and cauliflower, and experience the benefits of improved memory and cognitive function.
3. Omega-3 fatty acids
Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which is an omega-3 fatty acid, is essential for optimal brain health. Studies have linked higher levels of DHA in the bloodstream with good brain health and improved memory. Omega-3s are present in fatty types of fish such as tuna, mackerel, salmon, halibut, trout, and herring, and in nuts and seeds such as pumpkin seeds, flaxseed, and chia seeds.
Walnuts are the top nut for good brain health; just one-quarter cup of walnuts contains more than 100% of the daily recommended value of DHA, or omega-3 fatty acids. Additionally, walnuts can help regulate blood pressure, which assists with reducing stress levels in people with high blood pressure for improved brain health.
Keep walnuts on hand in your purse or desk, and snack on them throughout the day to satisfy bouts of hunger. Also, consider adding walnuts to cereal and oatmeal for breakfast, and to salads and vegetable stir-fries for lunch and dinner.
Yours in Health,