Staying mentally sharp as you age largely depends on a healthy lifestyle that includes a balanced diet, routine medical checkups, and a regular exercise regime. Fortunately, when it comes to a brain-healthy diet, you don’t have to sacrifice taste to enjoy the mental benefits. While there are a handful of foods that offer cognitive benefits, Home Care Assistance of Scottsdale, AZ presents our top 6 brain boosting foods.
- Blueberries – Whether eaten fresh, frozen or freeze-dried, a daily cup of blueberries can enhance your learning capacity and make you less susceptible to developing Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. Powerful antioxidants in blueberries help repair and prevent cellular damage from free radicals too. If you or an aging loved one have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, learn more about specialty Alzheimer’s home care in Scottsdale.
- Olive Oil – Olive oil contains heart-healthy monounsaturated fats that studies have shown can actually slow the brain-aging process. The oil is also abundant with polyphenols, a potent anti oxidant that can minimize free radical damage, stabilizing electrons before they are able to destroy positive cells in the brain.
- Walnuts – Walnuts increase blood flow, which helps deliver cognitive-boosting oxygen to the brain. The tasty nuts are also an excellent source of alpha linolenic acid (ALA), an essential omega-3 fatty acid. A recent Harvard study of ALA showed that the nutrient significantly reduces depression in older women. Additional studies indicate that eating walnuts may improve memory functions in those who suffer from cognitive decline.
- Coffee – Coffee contains caffeine, which enhances memory, mood and focus. Coffee also has antioxidants that fight off damage incurred in the cell oxidation process. For a good night’s sleep, however, it’s best for seniors to avoid drinking the mild stimulant before bedtime.
- Garlic – In addition to protective antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents, garlic contains organosulfur compounds that recent studies suggest may ward off malignant brain tumors as people age. And what’s better, is that garlic can be easily incorporated into a number of healthy dishes, providing maximum flavor.
- Dark Chocolate – Dark chocolate has many of the nutrients that the aging brains need to function at peak performance, including anti-inflammatory agents, antioxidants and natural stimulants. The tasty treat can improve concentration, focus and mood. Chocolate also contains fats and sugars, however, so it’s wise to limit intake to one-half ounce to one ounce per day.
With so many delicious options, it’s easy to protect overall brain health! For more information about Scottsdale dementia care or in-home care services, contact a Home Care Assistance Care Manager today at 480-448-6215 and schedule a complimentary, no obligation consultation.