Your dietary choices can have a huge impact on your mental health. Certain foods have been scientifically proven to have a major impact on your brain’s capabilities. By incorporating these items into your diet, you will begin to see improvements in your overall cognitive abilities. In honor of National Nutrition Month, here are five foods that have been proven to have a positive impact on your mental strength.
Blueberries are not only a tasty treat but can also yield major benefits for the mind. Blueberries are high in anti-oxidants which have been linked to an increase in cognitive ability. Blueberries can also be used as a means to ward off early stages of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. According to WebMD, a diet rich in blueberries has been linked to “reduce the effects of age-related conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.” Blueberries can be digested as either a food item or they can be crushed to make a tasty smoothie or juice beverage. This versatility makes them incredibly easy to begin implementing into your diet.
Fish, such as salmon, trout, or tilapia, are all rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Your brain uses these fats for such essentials as learning and memory. Additionally, there has been a link made between an increase in omega-3 consumption and a lower risk of age-related mental declines. Healthline notes that omega-3s “may slow age-related mental decline and help ward off Alzheimer’s disease.” Eating fish is a great way to improve your health while enjoying a nutritious meal.
Who says that snacks can’t be good for your health? Dr. Axe has found that “Chocolate is chockfull of flavonols, which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.” He continues to mention that “They can also help lower blood pressure and improve blood flow to both the brain and heart.” Just remember, though, this particular food item lends itself very well to moderation.
Now that we’ve covered a snack item, dinner item, and dessert item, let’s focus on the most important meal of the day: breakfast. Eggs make for a great breakfast option that are simple to make and loaded in health benefits for your brain. MindBodyGreen Health found that the health benefits can be attributed to eggs being “rich in choline, the precursor chemical for acetylcholine, one of the most fundamental neurotransmitters.” They go on to mention that “eggs contain cholesterol, an important component of brain cell membranes as well as serving as a brain-protective antioxidant.” Be sure to mix up the style of your egg preparation to keep your first meal of the day fresh and exciting.
Growing up, I’m sure you always heard how important it was to eat your vegetables. Well, they were wise to tell you that as studies have found a direct link between an increased intake of vegetables and superior mental health. Director of Dining Services at Spring Hills Mount Vernon, Christine Storm, discussed the importance of incorporating vegetables in your diet by saying, “One of our Signature Touches is our Signature Dining. We make sure to offer our residents options with a wide variety of vegetables that have been proven to enhance the strength of the mind. Our menu also changes every week to ensure our food always feels fresh.”
As we get older, our brain capacity is one of the first things to go. That is why it is absolutely crucial to start implementing changes to your diet that will benefit your mental health as soon as possible. Luckily, these five options are all ways to reap the benefits of a healthier brain without being forced to stop enjoying tasty food. At Spring Hills Senior Communities, we pride ourselves on our Signature Dining program that offers tasty, nutritious, and fresh options on a weekly-changing basis rich with ingredients proven to help foster a stronger mind.