You may know that nutrition can affect your risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes, but you may not know how it affects brain health. Studies show that antioxidant- and nutrient-rich whole foods protect cognitive functions like thinking, learning, and memory.
The MIND Diet has improved brain health, according to scientists. The MIND Diet combines the Mediterranean and DASH diets and may reduce dementia risk and preserve cognitive function. Whole grains are part of the MIND diet because they protect the brain. Whole grain crackers make a great snack.
In another study, adults 50 and older who ate the most whole grains (about seven servings per day) scored higher on a measure of successful ageing, including cognitive function. Whole grains lower blood pressure, diabetes, and cholesterol. Reduced disease risk may also boost brain health.
To make pomegranate juice a balanced snack, drink it with nuts or use it as the liquid base in a fruit and veggie protein smoothie. POM Wonderful makes a sugar-free pomegranate juice.
Walnuts may be the smartest nut. Nuts benefit people at risk for cognitive decline, according to a review of 22 studies and 47,000 people. Walnuts were consistently linked to better cognitive health. Women who ate at least two servings of walnuts per week in their late 50s and early 60s were more likely to age healthfully than those who didn't.
Blueberries are a memory- and brain-boosting food. Studies link them to slower cognitive decline, better memory, and executive functioning. Research shows blueberry eaters have increased brain blood flow. Blueberry benefits start young. Blueberries improve memory, attention, and reading in children.
A daily serving of leafy greens–a little more than a cup raw or 12 cup cooked–may help prevent memory loss with age. Those who met this mark had the brain power of 11-year-olds compared to those who didn't. Phylloquinone, lutein, and folate are nutrients abundant in leafy greens, say scientists.