We think about the food we eat and its effect on our bodies and weight, but how often do we think about whether we are eating the foods required to keep our brains healthy? The human brain uses a significant share of our daily calorie intake and there is a body of evidence that the right foods can keep our brains healthy.
We’ve all heard about the Mediterranean Diet and its benefits for the heart and longevity, but it may also help our brainpower. The brain contains a large proportion of Omega-3 fats with DHA – the same oils found in oily fish. BC salmon is packed with Omega-3 DHA and making this part of our weekly diet may benefit both children and adults. Children with low omega-3 levels can have decreased ability to focus attention; therefore, a diet rich in fish containing omega-3 DHA and EPA may help treat conditions such as ADHD and dyspraxia. Among adults it is thought to help to decrease the brain deterioration associated with aging.
Additionally, eating fresh vegetables, legumes, nuts and fruit may help to maintain brain volume – leafy greens, legumes and blueberries are packed with anti-oxidants; peanuts are full of folate, a mineral which helps maintain cognitive function; walnuts are loaded with omega-3 DHA while almonds and hazelnuts are concentrated sources of vitamin E which can improve brain function.
There so many tasty choices that we can enjoy everyday, so next time you go shopping give some thought to nourishing your brain!