In honor of National Nutrition Month, this week’s Monday Minute is about items we can all be including in our diets to make sure we are feeding our brains the way we should.
Many side effects of aging happen in the brain, and adjusting your diet can drop your risk of cognition decline and dementia more than you might think. Here are some food groups that you may want to make sure you are including!
- Leafy Greens. Research shows that vegetables like kale, spinach, and collard greens are packed with nutrients like folate, vitamin E, and flavonoids that slow brain aging. Try and fit 6 servings of leafy green vegetables in a week.
- Berries. Strawberries and blueberries have been shown to slow cognitive decline, due to the high levels of flavonoids. Two servings of berries a week is a great and tasty addition to your lifestyle!
- Nuts. Because of the high levels of vitamin E found in them, nuts make a great replacement for potato chips. Implementing a handful of nuts 5 times a week gives your brain the vitamin E it needs!
- Olive Oil. Switch out your cooking oil from butter or margarine to extra virgin olive oil for a brain boost.
- Go Lighter on the Meat. Switching out some red meat for beans, lentils, or soybeans gives your diet a boost of the B vitamins, as well as packing your meal with proteins and fibers
- Fish. Having fish once a week has been shown to improve memory and reasoning in adults over 65!
- Wine. Feel free to savor a glass of wine in moderation! Research has found that wine can increase blood flow, which lowers the risk of dementia and blood clots. Just don’t overindulge, because overdrinking has been shown to increase your risk of dementia.
By implementing these few tips into our weekly routine, not only can we increase our brain function right now, but we are setting ourselves up for lower risk of dementia and cognitive decline in the future!
Mayo Clinic Staff. “Improve Brain Health with the MIND Diet.” Mayo Clinic. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, July 31, 2019. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/improve-brain-health-with-the-mind-diet/art-20454746.