5 foods that promote brain health | Hartford Health Care

May 26, 2023

Brain-boosting games like puzzles and word searches seem to get all the glory, but the foods you eat can be just as important when it comes to brain health. So we asked an expert – which foods help prevent cognitive decline?
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5 brain-boosting foods Melissa Keeney, RDN, registered dietitian at St. Vincent’s Medical Center, suggests these five foods to support brain health: Green leafy vegetables. Kale, spinach, collard greens, and broccoli are rich in brain-healthy nutrients like vitamin K, lutein, folate, and beta-carotene. Fish. Fish is an abundant source of omega-3 fatty acids and healthy unsaturated fats, which can improve concentration and memory. Berries. The natural pigments that give the berries their hues also help improve memory. A study at Harvard’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital found that women who ate two or more servings of strawberries and blueberries each week delayed memory decline. Nut. Sources of protein and healthy fats, walnuts are rich in a type of omega-3 fatty acid called alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). Lawyers. Avocados are full of monounsaturated fats which reduce rates of cognitive decline and keep blood sugar levels stable. They are also rich in vitamins B, C and K. “These foods are just a starting point. Including a variety of foods will give you a variety of nutrients. Foods that nourish your gut and activate your brain include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, lentils, nuts and seeds,” says Keeney. Here’s why these “superfoods” help brain foods are high in antioxidants, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals. These provide energy to the brain and protect brain cells, which helps prevent cognitive decline. “The bacteria in our gut influence the immune system in our brain by producing inflammatory or anti-inflammatory markers. Long-term inflammation may play a role in brain health – for diseases such as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and multiple sclerosis,” says Keeney. your diet Trying new foods can be scary, so take your time. It takes several tries to appreciate a particular food and it may depend on how you prepare it. Start with a food like spinach and work your way up to avocados. You may find that you like one more than another, and from there you can incorporate this food into your diet. The stress of strict dieting can be detrimental, so aim for small changes and remember you that all foods can be part of a “healthy” diet. dietitian-nutritionist can give you personalized and sustainable advice to make realistic changes to your meals and snacks.

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