We all know how helpful and beneficial it is to follow a healthy diet, but can we honestly stick to one?
It can be so easy and fulfilling to eat junk food on our way to or from work. We often forget that this way of living may harm us in the long run. Not only is our health is at risk when we consistently eat junk food, but our brain is also made more vulnerable to a variety of problems.
Following a healthy diet reduces one’s risk of developing high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease. It is also believed that healthy eating reduces one’s risk of developing Alzheimer’s (but it should be noted that there isn’t enough research to conclude this fact with certainty).
The nine foods that can help strengthen your whole body – including your brain – are:
Fish – like salmon, tuna, and mackerel – are rich in healthy omega 3 fatty acids, including docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which is an anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and essential in the function of your brain’s neurons.
Eating more fish means that you’re consuming less red meat and other protein forms that are proven to be rich sources of artery-clogging saturated fatty acids.
2. Oil-based Salad Dressings
Oil-based salad dressings, including those with a base of peanut butter, seeds and nuts, and whole butter, are excellent sources of vitamin E – which is a potent antioxidant, and also a potential protector of your neurons.
Vitamin E may also help in fighting Alzheimer’s disease, by protecting the neurons in your brain from degenerating. These benefits, though, haven’t been proven through the taking of ordinary Vitamin E supplements.
3. Sunflower Seeds
Sunflower seeds are rich sources of vitamin E. An ounce of dry-roasted seeds can provide you with 30 percent of your recommended daily intake. You can sprinkle them over your salad to reap the benefits.
4. Dark Green Leaves
Kale, spinach, broccoli, and collard greens are rich sources of vitamin E and folate.
A cup of raw spinach can give you about 15 percent of your daily vitamin E intake, whereas half a cup of cooked spinach has 25 percent of the daily recommended intake.
How folate protects or may protect the brain isn’t clear yet, but it may work by lowering the blood’s levels of homocysteine. High levels of homocysteine may promote the death of neurons. Folic acid helps reduce the blood’s homocysteine levels.
Avocados are the low-carb dieters’ creamy treat.
Avocados are rich in vitamin E, as well as the antioxidant powerhouse vitamin C. Avocados are also an excellent source of healthy fatty acids, and have been linked to a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
6. Whole Grains
Whole grains are a key element of the Mediterranean diet, which consists of fruits, vegetables, olive oil, nuts and seeds, and wine. The mediterranean diet may reduce inflammation, oxidative stress and vascular risks like high blood pressure – all of which are associated with increased risk of brain and heart disease. They all also may help to reduce the risk of cognitive impairments that can lead to Alzheimer’s.
7. Peanuts and Peanut Butter
Peanuts and peanut butter are high in fat – but healthy fats. They are also loaded with vitamin E. They may help in protecting the heart and brain against all sorts of diseases. Almonds and hazelnuts also lend similar benefits.
8. Red Wine
People who consume moderate amounts of red wine and other types of alcohol could have a lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease. However, it is argued that there are other disease-causing factors risked by one’s consumption of alcohol.
Strawberries, blueberries, and acai berries may help with age-related cognitive decline by preserving the brain’s natural house-keeper mechanisms that decline with age.
These mechanisms also get rid of the toxic proteins linked to age-related memory loss.