Ten diet tips for optimal brain health
#1: Avoid sugars
Sugars come hidden in many different foods, include cakes, confectionary and biscuits. What’s even worse for you are processed foods, which pack added sugar that are detrimental to your brain.
#2: Choose whole foods
Whole foods such as fresh fruit, vegetables, whole grains, beans, lentils, nuts and seeds feed your brain cells, while refined, white and overcooked foods have the opposite effect.
#3: Eat more fresh produce
Ideally, you should eat five or more servings of fresh fruit and vegetables a day. Some great fruit choices include apples, pears, plums, melon, citrus fruit or berries.
As far as vegetables go, nutritious options include dark green, leafy and root vegetables like spinach, kale, cabbage, broccoli, green beans, carrots, sweet potato and Brussels sprouted, which you can eat raw or lightly cooked.
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There are also some fruits and veggies that you should take care to only eat in moderation as they’re loaded with sugar, which although is natural, is still not good for your brain. These include bananas, grapes and potatoes. And if you regularly drink fruit juice, it’s suggested that you dilute it.
#4: Up your whole grain intake
Some fantastic examples of brain-boosting whole grains include whole wheat, rice, millet, oats, rye, corn and quinoa as well as pasta, bread and cereal. Try to eat four or more servings of whole grains a day.
#5: Combine carbohydrates with proteins
Pair wholegrain cereal and berries with raw, unsalted nuts or seeds and make sure you eat enough starchy foods like rice and bread with protein-rich lentils, beans, fish, eggs or tofu. Also, when you eat animal protein, be sure to choose organic, lean, white meat or fish.
#6: Enjoy your eggs
Aim to eat three to five free-range, orange, omega-3-rich eggs every week to nourish your brain without causing cholesterol
#7: Eat only cold-water fish
Whenever you plan to eat a serving of fish, make sure you choose cold
-water carnivorous fish like salmon, herring, mackerel or trout. Good sources of both omega-3 fatty acids and protein, you should eat cold-water fish at least twice a week.
#8: Snack on raw, unsalted nuts
Nuts like almonds and peanuts are fantastic superfoods
that won’t only boost your brain, but your energy, too. Seeds are also great for snacking, with some tasty examples being flax (or linseed), hemp
, sunflower, sesame and pumpkin seeds. Tip: You’ll get more goodness out of your nuts and seeds by grinding them first and sprinkling them onto salads, soups and cereals.
#9: Use cold-pressed oils
Seed oils like flaxseed or hemp
oil are delicious as salad dressings or even for drizzling on vegetables instead of butter. Just make sure you don’t cook with these oils, as heat easily damages their beneficial fats.
#10: Stop eating fried food
You should also minimise your intake of processed food and saturated fat
from meat and dairy in order to prevent damage to your brain’s fats.
On the bright side, mental decline isn’t inevitable and by eating correctly, you can boost your alertness and memory at any age!