It has never seemed more paramount to look after one’s health, nor have there ever been quite so many ways in which it can – and needs to be – done. There are the ever increasing variety of treatments both surgical and pharmaceutical that achieve greater efficacy and efficiency all the time.
And then there are the more preventative things to look after, which has lately included new commitments to sanitation and efforts to stymie respiratory communication of virus. It may be that to some degree the wearing of masks will be a permanent fixture of American life, when ill or confined.
But of course going nowhere is the importance of diet in defending against particular maladies and in generally fending off ill health. And while there are foods especially suited to all areas of the body, June is Alzheimers and Brain Awareness Month: a great time to consider new brain foods!
Breakfast is fertile for brain foods: new links are being found all the time between dairy foods and brain health. A study on the elderly in the Netherlands connected consumption of yogurt and buttermilk, which means yogurt is a smart call for protecting your smarts.
And it only gets better when you get to the toppings, believe it or not. Calorie-light blueberries contain vitamin C, manganese, Vitamin K and anthocyanins that help protect the brain. It hurts nothing that they are a flavorful joy to eat! Plus you can pair the blueberry with the walnut, itself very tasty and possessing a number of key compounds such as polyphenols, tocopherols and polyunsaturated fatty acids, all of which help fight inflammation and antioxidize. Plus outside of putting them in your yogurt they too are a great snack.
At lunchtime you can hardly go wrong with a wide range of leafy greens, be they in a salad, a sandwich, or what have you. A slower cognitive decline in old age has been found to result from consumption of various ones, including collard greens, watercress, kale and spinach—though the last of those doesn’t have quite the benefits that Popeye would have you believe!
And the greens can go along with blueberries and another friend to the brain, the humble grape, in the form of a smoothie. Grapes promote good blood flow and blood pressure, as well as minimizing the oxidative stress of the brain. And for their part, the grapes could just as easily go into your yogurt earlier in the day. It’s a brain food that never feels like a ‘pain food’!
apping off the day, you cannot do better than fish for dinner. With that you get DHA omega 3 fatty acids, which aid the protection of the brain and can combat the developing of Alzheimer’s disease. Among the very best fish are Alaskan salmon, ideally wild-caught, tuna, mackerel, anchovies, sardines and herring. And you can help the fish along even further by simply preparing it in extra-virgin olive-oil, as adherents of the Mediterranean diet will know. In addition to also fighting Alzheimer’s, it is also foe to other neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s and ALS.
And those few examples are hardly the be-all and end-all of brain foods, with many more out there or waiting to be pioneered. But a steady diet of these will help you be in a position to think up more!