Do you ever find yourself halfway through that movie—you know, what’s-it-called, starring what’s-his-face—before remembering you’ve already seen it? Have you forgotten where you left your sunglasses (next to your keys, wherever they are) again?
If so, you may need to eat more brain-boosting foods to protect your cognitive health. Cognitive health refers to skills such as learning, memory, decision making, abstract thinking and reasoning.
“Scientific evidence suggests that consuming nutrient-dense foods, physical activity, controlling your blood sugar and blood pressure, and use of your brain may lower your risk towards dementia,” said Sprouts Nutritionist Janet Little. “Be sure your diet contains ample amounts of B vitamins for a healthy brain.”
Here are a dozen brain-boosting foods:
The essential omega-3 fatty acids found in salmon are crucial to the health of our nervous systems. Fish also contains iodine, which is suggested to improve mental clarity.
Avocados are high in omega-3 fatty acids and an excellent source of potassium.
Small, but mighty, walnuts contain omega-3, vitamin E and other antioxidants that have a beneficial effect on brain function. In fact, a study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology suggests that a good intake of vitamin E might help to prevent poor memory.
Blueberries contain various compounds that have strong anti-inflammatory properties that may reverse age-related declines in cognitive function.
Eggs contain the choline, which is an essential nutrient that maintains the structure of cell membranes as well as aids in brain function.
These winter fruits are rich in resveratrol, which has been shown to protect the brain, especially in cases of stroke or dementia.
Beans are loaded with B vitamins and glucose that nourish the brain.
Looking for an excuse to eat chocolate? Research shows that dark chocolate enhances focus and concentration. It also stimulates the production of endorphins, the “feel good” hormones.
Green tea helps to maintain positive mood. It may also protect against Parkinson’s disease and other brain disorders.
Ginkgo biloba is one of the most popular herbs to improve brain function, especially short-term memory loss. It’s available in liquid capsules in our Vitamin Department.
Research has shown that the anti-inflammatory properties in sweet potatoes may help slow the brain deterioration in Alzheimer’s patients.
There is good evidence to suggest that lycopene, a powerful antioxidant found in tomatoes, could help protect against the kind of free radical damage to cells which occurs in the development of dementia.