Increase Your Cognitive Potential with Food!
While it is commonly known that a healthy diet can greatly reduce your risk for disease, obesity, and heart problems, researchers are now discovering that a healthy diet can boost brain function as well! Diets like the Mediterranean diet, which include healthy amounts of fruits, vegetables, fish, legumes, and healthy fats, can drastically reduce one’s risk of developing both Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia (Weisenberger, 2013). Studies show that replacing saturated fats with healthy monounsaturated fats and increasing fruit and vegetable consumption can reduce damage to the small blood vessels responsible for pumping nutrients and oxygen to the brain. Try mirroring the Mediterranean diet and start boosting your brain power today! Follow these steps!
- Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables
- Men should eat 2 cups of fruit and 3 cups of vegetables per day
- Women should eat 1.5 cups of fruit and 2.5 cups of vegetables per day
- A diet rich in produce can reduce one’s risk of high blood pressure and reduce the risk of damage to the lining of the arteries in the brain
- Stick to fish
- Fish contains an important omega-3 fatty acid called DHA
- DHA has been shown to improve memory and learning, verbal fluency, and all-around cognitive function.
- Keep the healthy fats
- Saturated fats harm cognition, while monounsaturated fats may help
- Foods that are high in monounsaturated fats:
- Cook with vegetable oils (olive) instead of butter and margarine
- Munch on nuts and seeds instead of sweets
- Replace cheese with avocado in salads and sandwiches
- Drink coffee and tea
- Coffee and tea can protect the brain by way of anti-inflammatory mechanisms
Use these tips to improve your cognitive ability today!
Weisenberger, J. (2013, September 1). A Brain-Boosting Diet: Feed your Brain with Mediterranean Foods… Environmental Nutrition, 36(9), 1.