Healthy Catering: How to Include Nutrients for Brain Health
Many Americans are concerned about their cognitive health. About 20% of people age 65 and up will lose cognitive ability due to Alzheimer's disease, dementia, or other diseases. Adding the right nutrients and vitamins to your diet could make all the difference.
Here are six nutrients for brain health to consider adding to your diet. Focusing on your nutrition could boost memory and brain health.
Adjusting your diet with these brain foods can help you stay sharp, even as you get older.
Make a change for the better! Discover how to give your brain health a boost with these six nutrients today.
1. Omega-3 Fatty Acids
One of the best nutrients for boosting your brain health is omega-3 fatty acids.
Omega-3's can promote and improve your intellectual performance. They can help with general thinking and processing. Omega-3's are also essential for memory and learning.
Your brain needs omega-3 fatty acids to build nerve and brain cells.
If you want to add omega-3 fatty acids, consider consuming more fatty fish, including:
About 60% of your brain is made of fat. Half of that fat is made of omega-3 fatty acids.
Adding more omega-3 fatty acids to your diet might slow age-related mental decline. It could even help ward off Alzheimer's disease.
Not getting enough omega-3 fatty acids from your diet, however, could lead to learning impairments. It might contribute to depression as well.
There are a few other benefits of adding fatty fish to your diet beyond boosting your brain health, though. For starters, fish are high in protein, iodine, vitamins, and minerals. They also include vitamin D.
Vitamin D deficiency is linked to osteoporosis. Your risk of diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and dementia could increase as well. Adding more vitamin D to your diet might help with depression management.
It could boost your strength, reduce the risk of fractures, and improve your mortality.
Eating more fish could also:
Lower your risk of heart attacks and strokes
Benefit your brain and eye development
Reduce your risk of autoimmune disease
Prevent asthma in children
Protect your vision in old age
Improve your sleep quality
Beyond that, fish is also delicious and easy to prepare!
2. B Vitamins
As you explore different nutrients for brain health, consider adding more B vitamins to your diet.
B vitamins can impact your mood and mental performance. They can also reduce your risk of dementia by adding memory ability. Vitamin B might also reduce your risk of:
Adding B vitamins to your daily routine might boost your energy levels, too.
There are eight B vitamins. Salmon contains six of the B vitamins. You can also add B vitamins to your diet by consuming:
Leafy greens (spinach, collard greens, turnip greens, romaine lettuce, kale)
Liver and other organ meats
Oysters, clams, and mussels
Legumes (black beans, chickpeas, green peas, lentils, etc.)
Consuming eggs could slow the progression of mental decline in older adults. It could help by lowering homocysteine levels. Homocysteine is an amino acid that's associated with Alzheimer's and dementia.
Folate (B9) and cobalamin (B12) are also associated with depression.
It's normal for older people to develop folate deficiency. Taking folic acid supplements might help minimize age-related mental decline.
B12 might also help synthesize brain chemicals and regulate brain sugar levels in the brain.
3. Vitamin K
If you want to boost your brain health and cognitive function, add more vitamin K to your diet.
Vitamin K is often overlooked. However, it plays an important part in body functions like blood clotting. It can also help prevent heart disease and build stronger bones.
Without enough vitamin K in your diet, you might bruise easily.
Vitamin K is found in leafy greens like spinach, basil, broccoli, collard greens, and chili powder.
Broccoli also contains compounds that provide anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. These compounds might help protect the brain against damage.
Higher vitamin K intake might boost memory and cognitive status, too.
4. Vitamin E
As you explore different nutrients for brain health, consider adding vitamin E to your diet.
You can find vitamin E, healthy fats, and antioxidants in nuts. Consuming nuts could boost your brain health.
Vitamin E can also help by protecting the body from free-radical damage. Fighting against free radicals could slow mental decline.
Consider adding more walnuts to your diet. Walnuts contain anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E.
Vitamin E could protect your brain as it ages. It also plays a part in protecting your skin and eyes from damage.
Add more vitamin E to your diet with green, leafy vegetables, avocado, tofu, and seeds as well.
Lycopene is an antioxidant. It can help protect your brain from Alzheimer's disease and dementia.
Lycopene might also keep blood vessels around your neck and heart healthy.
It's found in watermelon, bell peppers, tomatoes, and red carrots.
Many of the foods mentioned above contain antioxidants, which can help protect the brain from free radical damage. In addition to protecting your brain, other benefits of antioxidants include:
Protection from age-related macular degeneration (which can lead to vision loss)
Reduced risk of heart disease and stroke
You can add a mix of different antioxidants to your diet, including beta-carotene and lycopene.
Beta-carotene is found in apricots, squash, sweet potatoes, and carrots. It's also available in leafy greens like kale. Lycopene is found in papaya, watermelon, and pink grapefruit.
Vitamins A, C, and E are antioxidants, too.
Consider adding more berries to your diet, which are high in antioxidants. You can learn how to make acai sorbet to get the antioxidants you need.
Boost Your Brain: 6 Essential Nutrients for Brain Health
Get ready to boost your brain health this year! Consider adding these six powerful nutrients for brain health to your diet. With these nutrients, you could slow cognitive decline and stay sharp as you grow older.
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