Does your brain seem foggy or sluggish at times? Or have you been looking for a way to give it an extra boost? Whether your brainpower feels low or you want an extra edge, it’s time to take a closer look at your diet.
You’ve probably heard the adage “You are what you eat.” While it’s easy to associate this with your waistline and general health, your diet is also an essential component for your memory, concentration, and overall brain function.
As an experienced internal medicine provider, Dr. Adepero Okulaja understands firsthand the role good nutrition plays in total health and wellness. That’s why she offers IV hydration/infusion therapy and her own line of vitamin and mineral supplementation at The Doctor’s House in Edina, Minnesota.
Dr. Okulaja also offers personal recommendations on eating and exercising to help you reach and maintain optimal health, including supporting healthy brain function. To sharpen your brain function, here are the foods that should make it to your plate on a regular basis.
If you want to slow down cognitive decline and keep your brain humming, it’s time to increase your intake of broccoli. This nutritional powerhouse contains dietary fiber, glucosinolates, vitamin C, and antioxidants.
Broccoli can lower your risk of neurodegenerative diseases and boost your brain health at the same time. You can also boost your brain by adding other cruciferous vegetables to your plate, such as:
And don’t forget the kale, which is considered a superfood.
People often assume they should avoid anything containing the word “fat.” However, fatty fish contain a special kind of nutrient: omega-3 fatty acids. These healthy unsaturated fats have links to numerous health benefits, including lower beta-amyloid levels — a protein in the brain that causes Alzheimer’s disease.
For the best results, choose fish low in mercury, like canned light tuna, salmon, and cod, and try to eat them at least twice a week.
Don’t eat fish? Dr. Okulaja can recommend other omega-3 options, like supplements, avocados, flaxseeds, and walnuts.
There’s a lot to love about berries, but here’s one thing you may not have realized. Studies show that women who eat at least two servings of strawberries and blueberries every week delay memory decline up to 2 ½ years. One contributing factor involves the antioxidants they contain.
The berry benefits for yourself, sprinkle them on your breakfast cereal, have them for an afternoon snack, or enjoy a dish as a healthy dessert.
Nuts offer two significant benefits — improved heart health and better brain health.
Most nuts contain vital nutrients like antioxidants, vitamin E, and healthy fats. Research shows that making them part of your diet can help protect you from free radical damage, reducing your risk of cognitive decline.
All nuts can provide these benefits, but walnuts have an extra brain-boosting nutrient — anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids.
If you love a cup of green tea or coffee to start your day, there’s another reason to consider it the highlight of your morning.
Green tea has numerous components that place it firmly in the brain-healthy beverage category. First, it contains L-theanine, an amino acid that helps reduce anxiety, increase relaxation, and boost alertness. Plus, it contains substances that could protect your brain from decline and reduce your chances of developing diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.
Coffee also contains two brain-healthy components — caffeine and antioxidants. So sipping on that cup of joe can boost your alertness and mood while offering protection against Alzheimer’s at the same time.
And this is only the beginning when it comes to feeding your brain. Dr. Okulaja can offer personalized recommendations based on your diet, lifestyle, and overall health to help you get the nutrients you need to sharpen your brain function.
To learn more about eating your way to better brain health, contact The Doctor’s House by phone or online to schedule a consultation with Dr. Okulaja in Edina, Minnesota, today.