Our mind is a powerful tool. Taking care of your brain is just as important as taking care of your heart but it's not as often spoken about. Many of the things you can do to take care of your heart also help you care for your brain. Exercise, sleep, avoiding too much sugar, eating fruits and vegetables, managing stress, drinking water, moderating your alcohol intake, taking vacations and having fun are all beneficial to your heart AND brain. There are a few specific diet changes you can make to help your brain stay in tip-top shape:
1. Eat plenty of healthy fat. Your brain is about 60% fat! Eating healthy fats that are found in foods like nuts, fish, olive oil, avocado, chia seeds, flax seeds can help maintain and improve how your brain functions.
2. Vegetables and fruits. Anything high in antioxidants is going to combat the free radicals that can cause impaired brain function. Be cautious with the amount of fruit you eat because although it's natural sugar, too much sugar from any source will work against you when you're trying to improve your brain health.
3. Choline. Foods high in choline are eggs, fish, whole grains, nuts...basically the foods that I've already told you are good for your brain. Choline seems to work similarly to B vitamins but scientists don't know the exact mechanism involved in helping the brain function.
4. B vitamins. There are several B vitamins that play many important roles in your body. One of their many important functions is nerve health. B vitamins are found in beef, fish, chicken, eggs and leafy greens.
Now you have the knowledge to eat for brain health! The good news is that brain health often correlates with overall health so it doesn't really add any layers of complexity to your lifestyle changes. Really just adds some extra motivation to make good choices!