Most people think of eating healthy food as just something that is good for the body, but eating well is just as important for the well-being of the brain, if not more important. The brain is the most biologically active organ of the body. In fact it uses nutrients at 10 times the rate of any other tissue in the body. And although exercising your body and practicing word games are important for health, nutrition has to be part of the puzzle, too.
Just like for the body, the best thing people can do to enhance brain health is to have a diet rich in vegetables, legumes and fruit. These foods are high in vitamins, minerals, fiber and phytochemicals (plant-based chemicals that help reduce the risk of infections, cancer, heart disease, and more).
Here are some practical, nourishing, easy-to-do things to feed your brain:
• Choose unprocessed foods: This should be a no-brainer! Processed foods do nothing for your body and your brain. In fact, many have detrimental effects because of high sodium levels, high sugar content, chemicals, and artificial flavors and colors.
• Eat nutrient dense foods: Eggs, fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds offer an abundance of nutrients that help feed your body and your brain.
• Eat good fats: Avocados, nuts, and oils such as olive and coconut, have protective fats that help brain function. In fact, a Harvard study showed that women who ate fats that were the monounsaturated kind performed better on cognitive tests than those who ate saturated fats.
• Take a good multivitamin: A multivitamin has a bit of everything, and your brain needs all nutrients all the time! So this is a good, basic starting point.
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