A healthy diet can make a noticeable difference in your health, especially when it comes to your brain. A balanced diet with lots of vegetables, healthy fats and protein keeps both the body and the brain healthy.
Did you know that there is a diet that has been shown to have a positive impact on your brain health? It is the MIND diet (Mediterranean DASH Diet Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay), which is based on a combination of the Mediterranean diet and the DASH diet.
Studies even showed that following the MIND diet prevents cognitive and memory deterioration over time. The diet resulted in a 7.5-year cognitive difference between people who followed the diet closely and those who didn’t.
The MIND diet is easy to implement. There are 10 foods you should eat more of and five foods you should eat less of.
10 foods for your brain health
So what are the foods that should be in your daily use?
- Green leafy vegetables
First of all, leafy green vegetables are among the best foods when it comes to brain health due to their vitamin richness and fiber content.
These include leafy greens like spinach, kale, and lettuce. It is recommended to eat at least one serving per day.
- More vegetables
For the sake of your brain, consider a daily serving of other veggies in addition to your leafy greens. Other vegetables are also good for your brain. This includes pretty much every vegetable you can think of, from broccoli to beetroot to eggplant. The choice is yours.
- Whole Grains
Whole grains are high in B vitamins, which can reduce inflammation in the brain and improve overall health. You can choose from numerous whole grain products such as oats, pasta, quinoa, brown rice and whole grain bread. It would be particularly beneficial to replace two to three servings of processed carbohydrates (such as pasta, white bread, plain rice, etc.) with whole grains per day.
- Olive oil
Olive oil is a good choice for your kitchen. It is rich in monounsaturated fatty acids and phenolic compounds, which have long been linked to better memory and brain health. Use olive oil as the main cooking oil instead of vegetable oil or butter.
- Nuts and seeds
Nuts and seeds are other sources of healthy fats that are beneficial for brain function. You should therefore make sure you eat nuts such as walnuts, almonds, sunflower seeds or seeds at least five times a week.
Another way to keep your brain cells healthy is to eat berries. Berries contain powerful antioxidants and other compounds that protect your brain cells from damage. Consumption should be considered about twice a week.
- Beans and lentils
You should also try to come back to eating beans and lentils about four times a week. These are a rich source of fiber and protein, which fuel your brain.
Fish contains large amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, which in turn increase blood flow to the brain. Likewise, omega-3 fatty acids are associated with increased cognitive ability. Although fish fingers are unfortunately not one of the recommended products, you can easily use fresh fish or canned fish such as tuna or sardines. The recommended consumption frequency is about once a week.
- Chicken or turkey
There are two types of poultry you should eat about twice a week: chicken and turkey. Both are considered a high quality source of lean protein, B vitamins and choline. Choline in particular is considered to be an extremely important substance for the brain and memory.
- Wine or grape juice
Even consuming one glass of wine per day helps prevent cognitive decline. Studies have also shown that it can even reduce damage after a stroke. In general, grape juice can also be used here, which has comparable advantages.
Of course, there are other foods that are not part of the MIND diet, but are just as beneficial for brain health. Among other things, dark chocolate is an enormously beneficial as well as delicious treat when it comes to brain health. Chocolate contains flavonoids that help protect brain cells from damage. Coffee and tea can also have long-term positive effects on alertness and overall brain health due to their caffeine content. In general, however, moderate enjoyment applies here.