Although not talked about as much as heart health, weight management, or diabetes, what you eat can have a big impact on the health of your brain. Scientists have started to examine what your brain needs to stay healthy and age well.
Antioxidants are important for our bodies and a specific type, polyphenols is key to brain health. Thankfully, polyphenols are in many foods including peppermint, sage, dark chocolate, flaxseed, hazelnuts, plums, curry powder, and cloves. Check out this list for some other sources:
Omega-3 fatty acids play a key role in brain development from the fetal stages all the way into adulthood. The brain is composed up of a significant amount of fat, so it is no surprise that the type of fats we eat play a role in the health of our brain. Omega-3 fats are be produced by the body and must be consumed. Unfortunately, they are in only a few foods such as walnuts, chia seeds, flaxseeds, hempseeds, soy, salmon, sardines, herring, mackerel, and trout. The ideal consumption is a combination of Omega-3s from both plant and fish sources.
Pre- and Probiotics:
Balancing your gut’s bacteria is important for almost every health condition and your brain health is no exception. You can maintain good gut health by eating fermented foods such as yogurt, kefir, kombucha, and kimchi. As well, eating fibre-rich foods especially prebiotic fibre is particularly good. Prebiotic fibre is in apples, oatmeal, asparagus, garlic, onions, and artichokes.
A recent study by Oxford University concluded that no amount of alcohol is safe for the brain. Moderate consumption of alcohol has more adverse effects on the brain than previously recognized.