It has been proven time and time again that it takes both diet and exercise to maintain your energy and vitality later on in life. Yet as you get older you can’t just count calories if you want to look and feel your best. You’re going to have to pay attention to your food choices. Some nutritional options have been shown to help lower cholesterol and keep your heart healthy, while others help you maintain bone density and avoid degenerative issues. Physical health is crucial, but most people would agree that your mental capacity is the most important. No one wants to get lost in a fog of fading memories and poor response time. That’s why it is just as important that you eat for your brain health as it is to maintain weight and nutritional balance. Here are five of the top memory and brain-boosting foods you might want to consider adding to your regular menu.
Most people find themselves craving a snack as the afternoon wears on. Well, you should feel more than confident to choose a handful of walnuts to get you through those cravings. According to some recent studies, adding walnuts to your diet helps bring crucial omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants into your system. The two will work in concert to improve your brain functioning and keep you fresh through the rest of the day.
There’s a reason beyond calorie counting that you should look to incorporate fresh vegetables in your diet. This tip comes straight from Harvard Medical School, so you know it’s worth considering. Researchers there looked at the nutritional habits of women and discovered that those who consumed more vegetables, especially things like cauliflower, broccoli, romaine lettuce and spinach, had a slower decline in their cognitive abilities than women who passed over these foods. The modern food pyramid is built around fresh, colorful choices and an abundance of vegetables. So now you know they’ll support your brain as well as your weight loss goals.
Another excellent choice for brain-boosting is whole oats. You’ll obviously want to choose unprocessed, organic grains whenever possible, but don’t be afraid of the carbohydrates here. Glucose is the number one fuel for your brain, and complex carbs have plenty of that. Oats will break down in your system very slowly, so you’ll enjoy hours and hours of focused thought and balanced energy.
Do you enjoy a cup of tea in the afternoon, or to help get you off to work in the morning? Then consider pouring a brew of yerba mate tomorrow. This is an herbal tea with just the smallest punch of caffeine. That caffeine will give you a burst of focus that will help you zero in on the task at hand, completing it more quickly and effectively than you would otherwise. And since it’s mild on your system you’ll have none of the jitters that a strong cup of coffee can bring.
Finally, open up your cabinet and unroll that can of sardines you’ve seen lurking in there for the past month. This isn’t a go-to food for most people, but these little fish are literally a superfood. They’re packed with those omega-3s, as well as EPA and DHA, which all work in conjunction to freshen your neurotransmitters and keep them communicating. If you’re trying to work through a complex problem, this might be the way to go. If you can’t get yourself to dig into a sardine reach for some other kind of fish oil. Check the internet for a, or find the oil in its purest form.