by Florence Silverstein
There’s no denying that as we age chronologically, our bodies age right along with us. But research is showing that you can increase your chances of maintaining a healthy brain well into old age by adding “Super Foods” foods to your daily eating regimen.
Adding some or all of these “Super Foods” to your diet will increase your odds of maintaining a healthy and fit brain for the rest of your life.
Blueberries are sweet and juicy and may prevent memory lapses. Being tasty and having many health benefits, including brain fitness, blueberries have been found to provide antitoxins due to the chemical compounds that are found in them.
“Brainberries” is what Steven Pratt, MD, author of Superfoods Rx: Fourteen Foods Proven to Change Your Life, calls these tasty fruits. Pratt, who is also on staff at Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla, Calif., says that in animal studies researchers have found that blueberries help protect the brain from oxidative stress and may reduce the effects of age-related conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease.
From the fish family, wild salmon is considered the healthiest because life expansion is much shorter than in fish of similar or larger size, thus it contains less mercury, PCBs, and any other contaminants. Deep-water fish, such as salmon, are rich in omega-3 essential fatty acids, which is essential for optimal brain function.
I recommend wild salmon for its “cleanliness” and the fact that it is in plentiful supply. Omega-3s also contain anti-inflammatory substances. Other oily fish that provide the benefits of omega-3s are sardines and herring.
The bottom line is that Fish is brain food. Any type of baked or broiled fish is helpful to brain health and fitness. For overall health, be sure to choose lower-mercury fish such as wild and Alaskan salmon, tilapia and trout.
Also known as chickpeas, garbanzo beans increase the brain’s production of serotonin. Other carbohydrates do the same thing, but chickpeas are better because they’re high in nutrients and fiber. Fiber slows the body’s absorption of sugars, which prevents sharp spikes in insulin and helps the brain work at peak levels.
Garbanzo beans are one of the best food sources of magnesium (aside from kelp and green leafy vegetables). Magnesium citrate benefits brain cell receptors to speed the transmission of messages, while relaxing blood vessels, which allows more blood flow to the brain. (Source: Mercola .com)
Green tea has become very popular for its abundance of antioxidants and anti-inflamatory effects. L-theanine, an amino acid present in green tea, has been shown to help lower stress and improve mood. According to studies, consuming caffeine and L-theanine together strengthens working memory and attention while lowering anxiety.
IMPROVING BRAIN FUNCTION WITH SUPER FOODS
Other Super Foods and spices that help improve brain power are turmeric, celery, broccoli, cauliflower and walnuts. These same foods and spices are also anti-inflammatory and contain antioxidants and other compounds that protect brain health. The addition of these items to your meals is an easy way to insure having a healthy fit brain for years to come. You can read more about many brain superfoods here.