Eating Your Way to Cognitive Health
All workout programs are designed to create physical strength, but it’s important to not forget about the most important muscle of all, your mind. Arguably, physical strength comes mostly from mental strength. That is what Steel MBS is all about. The following 10 foods will help build not only cognitive function, but will pave the way for a more focused mind that will help you achieve the unity in Mind Body Spirit.
1. Whole Grains
Don’t get too caught up in the “no carb” fads. Your brain needs energy. Instead, opt for whole grains that score low in the glycaemic index (GI). You’ll provide your brain with energy, while maintaining a low blood sugar level.
2. Oily Fish
EPA and DHA are essential for healthy brain function, joint health, and heart health. These can be taken as a supplement, but it’s much better to source them from food such as salmon, flaxseed, walnut oil, and pumpkin seeds.
Evidence from a study conducted by Tuft University shows that blueberries aid in short term memory.
Not only do tomatoes help in the fight against prostate cancer, there is now growing evidence that lycopene, could help protect against the kind of free radical damage to cells which occurs in the development of dementia, particularly Alzheimer’s.
5. B vitamins
B6, B12 and folic acid – are known to reduce levels of homocysteine in the blood. Elevated levels of homocysteine are associated with increased risk of stroke, cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease. A study of a group of elderly patients with mild cognitive impairment found that after two years of intervention with high doses of B6, B12 and folic acid there was significantly less brain shrinkage compared to a subset given placebo treatment.
Vitamin C is old school. It’s imperative for mental agility and blackcurrants are a great source.
7. Pumpkin seeds
Zinc is necessary for memory and thinking skills. Only a handful of pumpkin seeds meets the daily requirement.
These tiny trees are loaded with vitamin K, which is important for brain power.
Wait, isn’t that the essential oil? Yup, but it also can be sprinkled on your food. Do it.
Going nuts isn’t all bad. A study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology suggests that a good intake of vitamin E might help to prevent cognitive decline, particularly in the elderly. Nuts are a great source of vitamin E along with leafy green vegetables, asparagus, olives, seeds, eggs, brown rice and whole grains.
This list originally appeared at www.bbcgoodfood.com
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