As you get older, you’re probably doing everything you can to ensure your body and mind stay young for as long as possible. There are a number of ways to reduce your risk of cognitive decline, like learning new skills and exercising regularly, but did you know that certain foods can help keep your brain sharp too? Incorporate these four foods into your diet to reap their memory-boosting benefits.
- Fatty fish
Omega-3 fatty acids, including DHA and EPA, have been proven to promote brain health in many studies, and one of the best sources of this nutrient is fatty fish.
“DHA is the most abundant fatty acid in the brain. It makes sense that if you have higher levels of DHA in the blood, then the brain will operate more efficiently,” Andrea Giancoli, registered dietitian and Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics spokesperson, explained on EatRight.org.
Try to incorporate at least one seafood meal into your diet each week to get an ample supply of omega-3s. Some fish with high levels of this nutrient include salmon, bluefin tuna, sardines and herring.
- Dark berries
Another nutrient-packed food that can aid your brain is berries. These fruits contain lots of antioxidants, which can prevent damage from free-radical molecules, as well as anthocyanins and other flavonoids that may boost your memory. Try to incorporate dark-colored berries, such as cherries, blueberries or blackberries, into your breakfast, or grab a handful for your mid-afternoon snack.
- Leafy greens
B vitamins are crucial when it comes to proper brain function. Life Extension explained that all B vitamins, including folate, help the brain produce chemicals and regulate different body functions. That’s why it is important for seniors to get plenty of these vitamins in their diets. You can optimize your intake of folate and other nutrients by eating fruits and vegetables, especially leafy greens. Products like spinach and turnip greens will help you reach your daily intake of important B vitamins, and they may also help improve red blood cell health and nervous system function.
- Green tea
Finally, replace one of your daily cups of coffee with a mug of green tea to help your brain stay young. An article in the Indian Journal of Psychiatry noted that one study found individuals who drink moderate amounts of green tea were 55 percent less likely to experience cognitive impairment. Plus, green tea can also help to boost your metabolism and provides the body with helpful antioxidants.