5 Best Foods For Memory And Focus
Recently, food critics and scientists are advising the Mediterranean diet has been linked to a healthier heart, a stronger life, bones, and a reduced risk for high blood pressure and reduced risk for diabetes. In addition, lowering your risk for dementia has been linked to the foods you eat. Claire McEvoy, of the University of California, San Francisco’s School of Medicine suggests thatthe Mediterranean diet, or “Eating a healthy plant-based diet is associated with better cognitive function and around 30% to 35% lower risk of cognitive impairment during aging.”
New research through the Alzheimer’s Association International has linked that healthier older adults who follow the Mediterranean diet lower their risk of dementia by a third. In addition, our genes activity is based on four main factors: diet, exercise, sleep, and stress management. Diet is the most important as our eating habits directly affect our genetic make-up. Moreover, Claire McEvoy’s study investigated “eating habits of nearly 6,000 older Americans with an average age of 68. After adjusting for age, gender, race, low educational attainment and lifestyle and health issues — such as obesity, hypertension, diabetes, depression, smoking and physical inactivity — researchers found that those who followed the MIND or Mediterranean diet had a 30% to 35% lower risk of cognitive impairment.” She conducted that most people who remain on these healthy diets function better cognitively.
What is the Mediterranean or MIND diet?
More simple than one may think. The Mediterranean diet is based off plant-based cooking, whole grains, seeds and beans, nuts, with most of the meal focusing on vegetables, fruits, and a heavy emphasis on extra virgin olive oil. Refined sugar, flour, processed foods, and unhealthy fats should never have been consumed. In America, we tend to base our meals around protein. However, the Mediterranean diet suggests we eat more fish, and use meat or eggs as a small portion for flavoring a dish. Moreover, “MIND stands for Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay, with DASH standing for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension.” This diet suggests we reject stick margarine, red meats, cheeses, fast foods, fried foods, and sugars. Rather, eating at least six servings of green leafy vegetables a week, or once a day. Spinach or kale will hold the highest number of phytonutrients which are anti-inflammatory.
Take a look at the evidence: “In 2015, she studied 923 Chicago-area seniors and found those who say they followed the diet religiously had a 53% lower chance of getting Alzheimer’s, while those who followed it moderately lowered their risk by about 35%. Follow-up observational studies showed similar benefits.”
Certain foods will raise inflammation in the body: processed foods, sweets, fatty foods, and anything fried. Increased inflammation leads to a shrinking aging brain which can lower cognitive function and lead to memory loss. Moreover, foods rich in antioxidants, that maintain healthy microbiome in your gut will help maintain a healthy body; think of your tummy as your second brain!
Here are five brain foods to put into your diet if they aren’t already!
1. Avocados: Even though many people think avocados are high in fat; they are, the good kind! Mono-saturated fats are contained in avocados which help maintaining blood sugar and are great for your skin. Folate and vitamin K also prevent blood clots in the brain, helping protect yourself from a stroke all the while improving concentration and memory function. Avocados also have the highest protein content and lowest sugar in the fruit family.
2. Blueberries: one of the highest antioxidant fruits on the planet, packed with vitamin C, K, fiber, and gallic acid. Gallic acid helps protect the brain from stress and degeneration. Eat daily if you can!
3. Beets: Root vegetables are some of the most nutritious kinds to eat. Natural nitrates in beats reduce inflammation and are packed with anti-cancer antioxidants. Beets are delicious cut and roasted or shredded raw in a salad.
4. Broccoli: Another vegetable you cannot eat enough of. High in fiber, full of vitamin K, vitamin C, and choline. Just one cup a day fills you with enough Vitamin C needed for your daily intake.
5. Bone Broth: Instead of purchasing a chicken breast at the store, purchase an entire chicken to roast to create bone broth afterwards. Bone broth is great for your brain, boosting immune system, improving your joints, and great for your gut biome. Making it at home is essential as bone broth at most grocery stores are full of sodium, be sure to read your labels or purchase low sodium if you cannot make your own.
Contact New Horizons In-Home Care, providers of the best home care Corvallis and the surrounding area can find, to learn more about how our home care services can help improve memory and focus in senior adults.