The repeated phrase “you are what you eat” is true; the foods we eat directly affect how our bodies function and operate. In fact, by eating certain foods, you can target specific functions in your body, improving brain health and maintaining memory, for instance.
Proper nutrition is the foundation of overall health and wellness. Throughout our WellAge Senior Living communities in Colorado, we prioritize nutrition in all aspects of care. To dive deeper into how foods impact specific functions in the body, we have gathered a list of foods that directly support brain health and memory.
Almonds, along with other nuts and seeds, are packed with nutrients that benefit brain health and memory, such as vitamin E. Liz Meszaros, MDLinx states that vitamin E “plays a significant role in preventing cognitive decline.”
Other nutrients found in almonds include vitamin B6 and zinc. These two nutrients help metabolize proteins and boost the immune system, both essential for repairing cells in the brain and warding off damaging infections.
Eggs are another food that links nutrition and brain health because they are packed with brain-boosting nutrients, including vitamin B6, vitamin B12, folate, and choline.
According to healthline, “Choline is an important micronutrient that your body uses to create acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that helps regulate mood and memory. Two studies found that higher intakes of choline were linked to better memory and mental function.” Many people do not consume enough choline, but eating eggs is an easy way to ensure you provide your brain with enough of this nutrient.
The folate and B vitamins found in eggs help to slow the progression of mental decline. In fact, individuals with dementia often have a folate deficiency. By consuming the proper amount of folate, you can help minimize age-related mental decline.
Blueberries and other dark-colored berries contain high amounts of antioxidants and other nutrients that are beneficial to brain health. “Antioxidants act against both oxidative stress and inflammation, conditions that may contribute to brain aging and neurodegenerative diseases. Some of the antioxidants in blueberries have been found to accumulate in the brain and help improve communication between brain cells (healthline.com).”
If you love chocolate, you will be happy to know that eating dark chocolate can also improve your brain health and memory. The antioxidants, flavonoids, and caffeine found in dark chocolate improve blood flow to the brain, enhance memory, and can help improve short-term brain functioning. Furthermore, the antioxidants help protect the brain against free radicals, reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, and support cognitive functioning.
Avocados contain high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for cell growth and brain development. Additionally, avocados are a great source of vitamin E, which, as stated previously, helps to prevent cognitive decline. “Vitamin E may also slow the progression of degenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s, through its protection, maintenance and repair of cells within the brain,” according to LiveWell.
In addition to providing essential unsaturated fats and protein, peanuts are also beneficial to overall nutrition and brain health. As well as vitamin E, peanuts are also a great source of resveratrol, an antioxidant that helps “to prevent cancers, inflammation, and neurological diseases, including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s (Medical News Today).”
Nutrition can be used to improve brain health and memory, but it can be used to maintain an overall healthy lifestyle. Our dining services at WellAge Senior Living are provided to ensure that individuals Eat Well and consume balanced meals that improve their health and wellness. Contact our WellAge team for more information on our services and our communities located throughout Colorado.