By Eunice Trotter
Lots of people pooh-pooh it, but the fact is that some foods can enhance how your brain functions, giving you more clarity and focus and improving your memory.
Brain-healthy foods are frequently on the menus of American Senior Communities facilities. The foods include fish, which is high in protein, blueberries with their powerful antioxidants, and nuts and seeds, packed with protein and essential fatty acids.
Here are the top brain foods we share with our residents and how they help:
Berries – A diet high in strawberries and blueberries, among other berries, is linked to a slower decline in memory.
Walnuts – They contain anti-inflammatory nutrients and are a good source of alpha linolenic acid, which reduces the risk of hardening arteries and high blood pressure.
Olive oil – Slows brain deterioration.
Fish – Oily fish, such as salmon and sardines, is linked to lowering the risk of dementia. Fish enhances focus and memory.
Coffee – Improves mental acuity.
Spinach – Helps protect against mental decline.
Avocado – Improves vascular health and blood flow.
Water – Prevents dehydration, which can impair memory.
Many other foods also keep the brain healthy. Beets improve blood flow to the brain, garlic staves off some forms of brain cancer, broccoli is known to improve brain power, wheat germ and eggs can boost memory, and tomatoes contain lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that helps protect against free-radical damage associated with dementia, especially Alzheimer’s disease.
Eunice Trotter is communications specialist for American Senior Communities, which operates 60 Senior Health and Memory Care locations throughout Indiana.