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Your resource of health knowledge, tips and facts for a healthier lifestyle

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Foods to Sharpen Your Memory, Focus, and Overall Brain Health 

healthy foods behind a "brain foods" sign

Did you know that what you eat can have an effect on how you feel? When we are at our cognitive best, the brain is functioning well. We are able to focus, think clearly and remember all of the important tasks that come our way. This can be attributed in part to a healthy diet. When we consume foods that boost brain health, a wide range of positive effects can occur. Let’s take a closer look at some of the most popular brain foods.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

The good news is that many foods are rich in Omega-3s. When introduced into the body, these acids help the brain perform key functions. The learning and memory process are aided, and they also have the potential to lower your risk for developing inflammation. Inflammation can lead to symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. Here are some healthy options rich in Omega-3s.

  • Salmon
  • Trout
  • Flaxseeds
  • Walnuts
  • Soybeans
  • Chia seeds

The Power of Fruits

Certain fruits can help improve memory and brain function in adults and children. Many of these superstars contain Vitamin C. This specific nutrient plays an important role in cognitive well being because it can help ward off cellular damage. There are a plethora of fruits that fall under the category of food for a healthy brain. These choices not only taste great but are super healthy. Here are some popular choices:

  • Oranges
  • Tomatoes
  • Kiwi
  • Strawberries
  • Guava
  • Bell Peppers (yes, they are a fruit)

The Mighty Veggies

Here is one more reason to eat your vegetables: Some of them are good for overall brain health and might decrease the rate of cognitive decline. We have all been told that veggies are good for us. However, did you know that cruciferous vegetables rich in Vitamin K and beta carotene can actually alleviate symptoms of depression, autism, and anxiety? Let’s look at the veggie family to find a few tasty foods for a healthy brain:

  • Kale
  • Broccoli
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Cauliflower
  • Arugula
  • Bok Choy

Dark Chocolate and More

Foods that are high in antioxidants and lutein can help improve brain function. Consider how the brain is constantly subjected to stressors. When you consume antioxidants, they help protect the brain from cellular damage associated with stress. Similarly, Lutein also has an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effect on the brain. Studies are also being conducted on a beneficial link between Vitamin E and cognition. Here are some foods high in brain boosters:

  • Dark Chocolate (antioxidants)
  • Coffee (antioxidants)
  • Green Peas (Lutein)
  • Leafy Greens (Lutein)
  • Sunflower Seeds (Vitamin E)
  • Almonds (Vitamin E)

Putting It Together

Now that you know which foods contribute to a healthy brain, you can begin incorporating them into your diet. Try making brain-boosting smoothies like a strawberry kiwi kale blend. Or, enjoy a cognitive-supporting lunch like omega-3 rich salmon or trout atop a bed of rich leafy greens, topped with a sprinkling of sunflower seeds. There are many delicious foods for brain health.

Importantly, there is an array of lifestyle changes you can make to begin enhancing overall brain function. Did you know that an exercise routine can also improve brain performance and ward off cognitive decline? However, eating well is the best place to start. Z.E.N. Foods is dedicated to helping you achieve all of your healthy goals. Our motto is food as medicine, and we make healthy eating accessible and delicious. Check out the helpful resources in our Wellness Blog today.

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