As you enter your autumn years, it’s more important than ever to take care of your brain health. One easy way to keep a sharp brain? Eat a healthy diet full of nutrients that prevent cognitive decline. For best results, nutritionists recommend not focusing on any one superfood, but rather on hitting all the key nutrients through well-rounded eating.
Read on to find out how to age your brain gracefully for the long run with these top nutrients for brain health.
1. Omega-3 Fatty Acids
These unsaturated fats are full of benefits for brain health, assisting with functions like memory, learning, and thought processing. They can also help prevent brain diseases like Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Find Omega-3 fatty acids in oily fish like salmon or mackerel, as well as in walnuts, chia seeds, and flax seeds.
2. Vitamin B
Preserve your memory and boost energy with Vitamin B, which appears in many different forms. This nutrient heavyweight also works to reduce your risk of developing dementia, anxiety, depression, migraines, heart disease, and more. You can load up on B vitamins with whole grains, eggs and dairy, legumes, leafy vegetables, and seeds and nuts. Vitamin B9, or folate, is especially high in kale, spinach, and broccoli.
3. Vitamin D3
This often over-looked protein is important for regulating the immune system, maintaining the amount of calcium in the brain, and protecting the brain. Vitamin D3 can be found in foods like eggs yolks, fatty fish, mushrooms, and canned foods. Cod liver oil also contains potent Vitamin D3.
4. Vitamin E
Limit brain aging with the powerful antioxidant, Vitamin E. By protecting the brain from oxidative stress, it preserves membranes in the brain and benefits memory. Get your fill of Vitamin E by eating lots of leafy greens, avocado, nuts, seeds, and tofu.
5. Vitamin K
Support cognitive function and slow down neurodegeneration by upping your intake of Vitamin K, which regulates calcium levels in the brain. Evidence shows that it may improve memory and prevent Alzheimer’s disease. Excellent sources of Vitamin K include spinach, collard greens, broccoli, and basil.
Lycopene is an antioxidant proven to defend the brain against dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. It is also a pigment that gives fruits and vegetables like watermelon, tomatoes, carrots, and bell pepper their red color. Add these delicious foods to your plate, and benefit from additional rewards of lycopene like improved heart health and cancer prevention.
Enhance memory and cognition with zinc, which plays a key role in brain growth and has an anti-inflammatory effect. High amounts of zinc can be found in lean meats, poultry, eggs, seafood, and soy products. You can also snack on zinc-high foods like chickpeas, cashews, and almonds. Just make sure not to exceed the recommended amount and keep to a balanced intake.