You know what they say... “You are what you eat.”
Turns out, it’s very true, especially when it comes to your brain health. A new diet called the MIND diet, focuses on foods that have been shown to keep your brain sharp and help to prevent Alzheimer's disease, and is one of the few diets that will acutally help you achieve your healthiest self.
So why the foods that we eat influence our brain so much?
“Everything we eat can contribute to inflammation,” explains Monica Auslander, MS, RDN, and founder of Essence Nutrition. “Inflammation releases different chemicals throughout the body that can slowly damage brain tissue,” she says. “There's also the concept of the gut/brain axis—that the things we eat can cross the blood/brain barrier and promote disease or fight it in our brains.”
In other words, science shows that your lifestyle choices and what you eat have a direct impact on your brain and how well it works.
Experts explain which foods you should eat if you’re looking to boost your memory and overall brain health and why they work:
Broccoli contains higher levels of choline and vitamin K which are both important to optimize cognition and memory.
Blueberries, cranberries, and strawberries are all memory food musts.
Blueberries are among the best source of antioxidants that you can easily purchase and incorporate into your diet. Plus, berries full of flavonoids, which have anti-inflammatory properties.
Wild fish contain omega-3 fatty acids which reduce inflammation not only in your brain but your body in general. That means eating them is good for all parts of you.
Most seafood contains omega-3s, but it’s important to be careful of mercury content and other toxins when eating a lot of fish.
If you don't eat fish then seeds are a good alternative for getting in your omega-3s.
Chia and flax seeds are a very good source of these fats.
For those who are not into seeds, Snyder also recommends pumpkin, walnuts and dark leafy greens as options.
Looks like your grain bowl habit has some amazing health benefits. “Rich in folic acid, quinoa has been shown to quicken information dispensation and improve our memory,” Snyder notes. Plus, “quinoa is one of the best whole grains you can put into your body because it is a natural source of iron, zinc, and protein,” she says. What’s more, it will keep you feeling satiated so you can focus on your to-do list. “Quinoa is a complex carbohydrate that will give you energy that lasts when your brain needs fuel to perform at its best,” Snyder says.
Luckily we put onions in everything. There is a naturally occurring flavonoid in onions called fisetin, which facilitates long-term memory by stimulating certain pathways in the brain.
Ideally, you need to eat them raw to get the most benefits, since when you cook food above 118 degrees, you kill the natural enzymes that contribute to these miraculous body benefits.
Yes, it’s technically a drink, but if you needed an excuse to not cut java out of your diet, here it is. “Coffee has been shown to prevent neurological decline and improving mental acuity. But to get the most benefit , you need to be careful about how you consume it, and cut back on added sugars, creamers, syrups, etc.
Grass-fed bone broth can help heal the intestinal epithelial cell lining and prevent dysfunction of the gut/brain axis.
Turmeric and rosemary are strong anti-inflammatory herbs. Turmeric is especially good for fighting oxidative stress, and rosemary contains carnosic acid, a phytochemical that helps to prevent against nerve cell damage.
Good news: Your chocolate addiction is great for your memory and focus since it can improve blood pressure and circulation to the brain, which can in turn boost brain function.
Do you already eat any of these memory-friendly foods?Sources: