Foods to Fuel Your Brain and Keep it Sharp
Food is fuel for our bodies, and eating certain foods can be particularly beneficial for our brains. Dr. Uma Naidoo, nutritional psychiatrist and brain expert from Harvard Medical School, shares the foods she eats to fuel her brain and keep it sharp. The good news is that these foods can benefit everyone, no matter their age. She also suggests never going to the grocery store hungry. Doing so makes you more likely to be tempted by unhealthy options. Dr. Naidoo uses the acronym BRAIN FOODS to highlight ten foods she recommends eating for brain health. Check out what items to put on your next grocery list below!
B - Berries and Beans: Strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, beans, legumes, and lentils.
R - Rainbow Colors of Fruits and Vegetables: Cabbage, bell peppers, pineapple, citrus fruits, kiwi, and most importantly greens like broccoli, romaine lettuce, and arugula.
A - Antioxidants: You can get these from a variety of vitamin supplements (always check with your doctor first, and foods including dark chocolate, spinach, broccoli, berries, walnuts, and potatoes to name a few.
I - Include Lean Proteins and Plant-Based Proteins: Choices like lean poultry, grass-fed beef, seafood, and pastured eggs can be excellent sources of protein and amino acids. Organic tofu, beans, lentils, and tempeh are good plant-based options.
N - Nuts and Seeds: Nuts and seeds have important vitamins and minerals, healthy omega fats, and oils. Options include Brazil nuts, walnuts, flax seeds, and chia seeds.
F - Fiber-Rich Foods and Fermented Foods: These foods are important for your gut health and help lower inflammation throughout the body. Fermented foods also provide active cultures bacteria. Examples include pears, berries, quinoa, artichoke hearts, miso, and kefir.
O - Oils: In moderation, healthy fats are important. You can find them in sources like oily fish, olive oil, and avocados.
O - Omega-Rich Foods: Omega-3 fatty acids give your brain a boost and can be found in foods like salmon, tuna, mackerel, Brussels sprouts, walnuts, flax seeds, and chia seeds.
D - Dairy: Yogurts and kefir are your best bets here for their protein and helpful bacteria.
S - Spices: Spices add color, flavor, and brain benefits. Spices that are especially beneficial include rosemary, oregano, black pepper, red pepper flakes, turmeric, and saffron.