Improving brain cognition is important to everyone. We all want to stay sharp every single day of our lives. No matter your age, it’s never too early (or too late) to think about brain health!
The 5 Keys to Keep Your Brain Young
- Quality sleep (8 hours every night)
- Regular exercise (even mild)
- Lowering stress levels (it leads to inflammation)
- Remaining mentally active (puzzles, games, learning)
- Powerful “brain food” in your diet (efficient fuel)
All of these keys are repeatedly confirmed by science and become more urgent as you age. Of everything you can do for your brain, choosing the right food is the most important. The saying “you are what you eat” is especially true for this vital organ.
If your diet consists of foods from boxes, bags, cans, or drive-thru restaurants, chances are your brain is starving for some serious nourishment.
When your brain doesn’t get what it needs, it can alter you physically, mentally, and emotionally. Your thinking is a bit slower, you’re regularly fatigued, and you might even feel ill.
It doesn’t have to be this way. You can improve brain cognition consistently (and protect your brain for decades) by making a few additions to your diet. These aren’t “strange” foods that are expensive or hard to find. All of them are inexpensive and available in your local market.
You’ll be feeding your brain exactly what it needs in no time.
Improve Brain Cognition One Bite at a Time!
- Leafy greens. I’m starting with the category most people have trouble with because you should give them another chance! These veggies (kale, spinach, mustard or collard greens, arugula, and romaine lettuce) are amazing. They feed your brain, help strengthen your immune system, have cancer-fighting properties, and drastically lower your risk of heart disease. As a vegetable lover, it’s hard to understand the aversion to these delicious antioxidant powerhouses. If you get stuck, blend some spinach in a green smoothie with fruits and cacao…as long as you get them!
- Another acquired taste, this healthy fat is excellent for circulation and is one of those veggies that can be used as a substitute for mayonnaise, cream cheese, or less-healthy dips (I know, it’s green). Avocados are a food that offers a powerful nutritional punch (especially vitamin K and folate) with very few calories. Naturally cholesterol-free, sodium-free, and low in carbs, it’s a great food to consider no matter what eating plan you follow.
- They’re the ultimate brain food (and a personal favorite). Researchers consider the humble egg one of the most perfect proteins on earth. They have a little bit of everything your body needs and are particularly great for those days you need energy and a clear head.
- If you’re not a person who adds a lot of herbs and spices to your recipes, I hope you’ll reconsider these brain-boosters! Turmeric, cinnamon, and cumin are finally getting the recognition they deserve as powerful brain fuel. Turmeric has been at the forefront of health news over the last few years as scientists uncover the many ways it can improve human health.
- With all the research conducted about assorted berries, you might already be including them in your diet. Fresh or frozen, they’re good for your entire body. They possess powerful antioxidants that mop up free radicals, protect brain function, safeguard your heart, and gives your immune system valuable compounds to fight illness and infection.
- Green tea or coffee. Other than water, these beverages are the two most popular on Earth. They’re also delicious and nutritious! They’ve been scientifically proven to protect and improve brain cognition over all the years of your life. They also help your metabolism, improve circulation, and lower your risk of the deadliest diseases.
- Fatty fish and sea vegetables. Your brain needs omega-3 fatty acids and the sea is where you’l get the best (and highest) concentrations. Patients who test positive for various forms of dementia (and other diseases) are often omega-3 deficient. Since 25% of your brain is made of a fatty acid called docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), you can see why that would be an issue. Your body doesn’t produce this essential fatty acid. That means you need to get it through your diet. As you might expect, the older you get, the more you need.
- Dark chocolate. Also known as cacao, dark chocolate is a natural stimulant that’s perfect for a healthy heart, to improve mood (even lower risk of depression), maintain a healthy body weight, and boost your brain power naturally. Choose the highest cacao content possible (70% or higher is a good guide) because it leaves less room for sugar. You need to consume it in moderation but you’re still going to feel like you’re cheating!
- Coconut oil. If you’re not including coconut oil in your life, I hope you correct that today. This healthy fat offers your brain an alternative fuel to glucose. In the case of neurodegenerative disease, your brain becomes insulin resistant and literally begins to starve from lack of a fuel source. Coconut oil absorbs immediately into your brain tissue. There are tens of thousands of studies showing the many benefits but this is the one I want you to remember: it’s pure, perfect brain fuel.
You still need good habits to stay healthy but if you feed this critical organ efficient and effective fuel, you’re going love how you feel mentally.
Improving brain cognition provides a positive ripple effect through your entire body! It’s so much easier than you might think!
Remember: garbage in…garbage out.
Shape: The 10 Best Leafy Greens
Healthline: 12 Proven Health Benefits of Avocado
BBC – Good Food: The health benefits of eggs
Healthline: 11 Evidence-Based Health Benefits of Eating Fish
Everyday Health: 9 Amazing Health Benefits of Berries
Healthline: 10 Evidence-Based Benefits of Green Tea