Smart Foods for a Smarter Brain
Just like other organs in your body, your brain thrives on certain nutrients that increase brain function on a completely natural level. And no, nutrients from common energy drinks don’t count!
A diet rich in nuts, certain varieties of fish, whole grains, fruits and even avocados have been found to help increase cognitive function, and may even reduce the risks of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. What these “smart foods” have in common is a generous serving of Omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E, which are important for healthy blood flow and cardiovascular function. When your heart is healthier, it can pump blood to your brain more efficiently.
When building your healthy diet, be sure to include:
- Salmon – This type of deep-water fish is abundant in Omega-3s and contains a larger amount of healthy oil than most fish. Other good choices include sardines and herring.
- Blueberries – It has been found that blueberries help prevent oxidative stress on the brain, and also may correspond to an increased learning capacity. And they’re tasty, too.
- Nuts and Seeds – These are high in vitamin E, another source of brain fuel that may decrease cognitive decline that comes with age. The fat in nuts also helps raise your good HDL cholesterol.
- Avocados – This interestingly green fruit packs a surprising amount of good monounsaturated fat into its delicious center. The fat it contains helps increase healthy blood flow, similar to the Omega-3 acids.
- Home-Brewed Tea – As opposed to a cup of coffee, which can contain nearly 200 mg of caffeine, tea contains a much lower amount that can increase focus and memory. Tea also is known to have generous amounts of antioxidants, which help strengthen the heart.
When the mid-day energy crisis strikes, try to avoid reaching for your third cup of coffee and instead grab a lunch full of brain healthy treats!
Weekly Health Tips are brought to you by UCF Health, the College of Medicine’s physician practice. Offering primary and specialty care under one roof, UCF Health treats patients age 16 and up in primary care and age 18 and up for specialty care. Most major insurance plans are accepted. Two locations are now open: the original in East Orlando at Quadrangle and University boulevards just blocks from the main UCF campus and in Medical City at Narcoossee Road and Tavistock Lakes Boulevard. Schedule an appointment online today.