You’ve likely heard of the anti-ageing benefits of various foods, supplements and toiletries that are designed to keep your appearance youthful, but have you ever considered how the concept of anti-aging could be applied to your brain?
Choosing the right foods to feed your brain may seem like a time consuming lifestyle change, however it’s actually rather easy to incorporate brain-healthy snacks into your regular diet.
There are a variety of foods known for their brain-boosting properties that can help to slow down the aging process and ensure your brain stays active and healthy well into old age.
Colorful Fruits and Vegetables
A brightly colored selection of fruits and vegetables will provide your body with plenty of antioxidants to help prevent neurological damage.
Vegetables in particular can help prevent inflammation and improve circulation, ensuring your brain experiences a healthy blood flow.
Carrots contain high levels of luteolin, which is a flavonoid that reduces inflammation that has been linked to a decline in cognitive performance.
In 2010, the Journal of Nutrition published a study conducted on mice in order to discover the effects of luteolin on the brain. It was found that the mice showed an improvement in spatial memory after luteolin had been added to their diet.
Other healthy foods known to improve memory include celery, bell peppers, rosemary and thyme, which are also rich in luteolin.
Beets contain naturally occurring nitrates, which can be beneficial to the brain – unlike the artificial nitrates in processed food. A study in the Nitric Oxide journal in 2011 showed that adults who consumed a diet rich in nitrates experienced an increased blood flow towards the brain’s frontal lobe. A poor blood flow to the frontal lobe is usually associated with dementia or cognitive decline.
It has been suggested that the nitric oxide compound can help to keep blood vessels supple as well as increasing blood flow. Cabbages and radishes are also rich in natural nitrates, providing another beneficial option for those looking to feed their brain.
Asparagus is a healthy source of folate, which works in combination with the vitamin B12, which is found in fish, meat and poultry, in order to prevent impairment of the brain’s cognitive ability. A study by researchers at Tufts University, adults with higher levels of folate and vitamin B12 showed better performance results during tests of speed and mental flexibility. It is recommended that those over fifty years old ensure they are getting enough vitamin B12 in their diet, as the ability to absorb it declines with age. Another good source of folate is a serving of leafy greens, which have a variety of antioxidant properties of their own.