5 Foods That Promote Brain Health | Hartford Healthcare

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May 26, 2023

While brain-boosting games such as puzzles and word searches seem to be honored, the food you eat is just as important when it comes to brain health. So we asked the experts – which foods help prevent cognitive decline?
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5 foods that boost your brain

Melissa Keaney, RDN, registered dietitian at St. Vincent Medical Center, suggests these five foods to promote brain health:

  1. green leafy vegetables. Kale, spinach, collard greens, and broccoli are packed with brain-healthy nutrients like vitamin K, lutein, folic acid, and beta-carotene.
  2. fish. Fish is rich in omega-3 fatty acids and healthy unsaturated fats that improve focus and memory.
  3. berry. The natural pigments that give the berries their hue also help improve memory. A study at Harvard University’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital found that women who ate strawberries and blueberries more than twice a week had slower memory decline.
  4. walnuts. A source of protein and healthy fats, walnuts are rich in a type of omega-3 fatty acid called alpha-linolenic acid (ALA).
  5. avocado. Avocados are rich in monounsaturated fats that have been shown to reduce the rate of cognitive decline and keep blood sugar levels stable. It is also rich in vitamins B, C and K.

“These foods are just a starting point. , whole grains, beans, lentils, nuts and seeds,” Keeney says.

> RELATED: This is your brain on junk food: Ultra-processed foods are linked to cognitive decline

Why These ‘Superfoods’ Are Helpful

Brain foods are rich in antioxidants, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals. They provide energy to the brain, protect brain cells, and in turn help prevent cognitive decline. “Bacteria in our gut influence the brain’s immune system by producing pro- or anti-inflammatory markers. It can affect brain health in disease,” says Keaney. Want more health news? Text StartHere at 85209 to sign up for text alerts

Tips for Incorporating These Foods into Your Diet

Trying new foods can be intimidating, so go at your own pace. Enjoying certain foods requires multiple attempts, which can vary depending on how they are prepared. Start with foods like spinach and work your way up to avocados. You may find one you like more than others. From there, you can incorporate that food into your diet. The stress of a strict diet can have negative effects, so aim for small changes and remember that all foods can be part of a “healthy” diet. A Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist provides personalized and sustainable advice for making practical changes to your meals and snacks.

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