Eating for Brain Health

Just as certain foods can be good for heart health, lowering cholesterol, or managing diabetes, certain foods have shown to be beneficial for brain health.  You’ll see that many of the foods that are good for your brain are also good for your heart.   While this information does not replace recommendations from your doctor, it may give you a few ideas of foods to incorporate into your daily diet to help improve or maintain your brain health. 

Fruit – Berries contain pigments that give them their color, these pigments are called flavonoids.  Research has shown that flavonoids help to improve memory.

Vegetables – Green, leafy vegetables are rich in vitamin K, lutein, folate, and beta carotene.  Try incorporating kale, spinach, collards, and broccoli in your diet to get these nutrients.  According to the research, these foods may help to slow cognitive decline.

Fish – Fatty fish are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids; these healthy, unsaturated fats have been linked to lower blood levels of beta-amyloid (the protein that accumulates in the brain with Alzheimer’s disease).  Low mercury options include salmon, cod, canned light tuna, and pollack.  Other good sources of omega-3 are flaxseeds, avocados, and walnuts.

Nuts – As mentioned above, walnuts are a great source of healthy fats, particularly a fatty acid called alpha-linolenic acid (ALA).  ALA helps to lower blood pressure and protects arteries, beneficial for both the heart and brain.

These suggestions are just the tip of the iceberg for brain health.  Other non-food factors to pay attention to are your exercise and sleep habits.  Both play an important role in your brain health.  If you’re interested in learning more about foods to eat for brain health, consult with your doctor or a registered dietician, as they can give specific recommendations for you.  And, if you suffer from poor sleep habits or don’t have an exercise routine, be sure to ask your doctor about those, too!

The sources used for this blog post can be found here and here.

Parks’ Place Memory Care is a privately owned assisted living home, specialized and specifically designed for those with Alzheimer’s and other dementias.  Our home is for people of any stage of dementia so they are able to age-in-place in their home.  For tours, general information, or admission inquiry, please contact Kaitlin Kelly at 763-710-8484.