The short answer is yes! The human brain requires and consumes an extremely large amount of energy every day. Therefore, it’s important to understand the connection between the nutrients in our diets and how they affect our cognition, mood, and overall brain function. Although more long-term research is still needed on this multi-faceted topic, existing research has strongly indicated that diet—combined with other factors such as lifestyle, exercise, environment, and genes—contributes significantly to the overall health of our brains. And not just daily, but also with a long-term impact as we age.
Foods and Supplements Known to Enhance Brain Health
Keeping in mind that the medical community is now largely aware that nutrients influence our cognition by interacting with our bodies’ molecular/cellular systems and processes, consider incorporating some of the following nutrients into your diet.
- Green (and dark green) leafy vegetables. Veggies contain a wide variety of powerful vitamins such as vitamin k, lutein, folate, and beta carotene. Lots of research is pointing toward plant-based foods slowing the rate of cognitive decline. These nutrients are also available in supplement form if leafy greens are a challenge in your diet.
- Berries. The antioxidants found in berries are a known VIP in the fight against the oxidative damage our brains are so susceptible to.
- Nuts. The protein, healthy fats, and vitamin E found in nuts have been noted in studies to help improve cognitive performance related to learning and memory.
- Fatty fish. You likely already know that Omega-3 fatty acids are the star of the show when it comes to their effect on brainpower. Because our brains naturally contain an abundance of omega 3s, many studies have shown that consuming them is one of the best ways to promote increased brain plasticity and to improve mood-related disorders. Taking a high-quality Omega-3 supplement is a great way to ensure you are consistently getting fish oil in your diet.
Growing bodies of research will continue to be extremely valuable in determining how to create strategies for combating obesity, age-related disease, mental illness, and improving brain health in general, so we encourage you to keep your finger on the pulse of the latest research and to get busy in the kitchen.
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All Ways Healthy is Hosting a Free Lecture November 6th
On Nov. 6, All Ways Healthy in Lake Zurich will present “Living a Mindful Life, A Presentation on Cognitive Function Throughout Life,” with guest speaker Jolie Root LPN, LNC. The lecture is begins at 7 p.m. To reserve your space, email email@example.com today.