Mary Ann Lila is the director of the Plants for Human Health Institute, North Carolina State University. She explains that the brain can be complex and that different foods have different effects. Some foods—hello, colorful vegetables, healthy fats and proteins—can actually build brain tissue and reduce inflammation while others have the opposite effect.

4 best foods for brain health

1. Blueberries
A few berries can be added to a smoothie or salad for a great brain boost. Recent research For six months, 2.5 cups of flavonoid-rich blueberries per day was enough to reduce inflammation and improve the brain’s ability to process information. It’s essential to eat blueberries daily to get the benefits.

“[Flavonoids] improve brain tissue by depressing inflammation and not allowing oxidative stress to impair brain functioning,” Lila says that it must be a steady supply of flavonoids. “You have to eat a serving a day; you can’t just load up on weekends.”

2. Salmon
Wild-caught salmon, and other fatty seafood are rich in omega-3 fat acids. This is why 2022 study Omega-3s are linked to higher brain volumes, better abstract reasoning, and logical thinking. They also slow cognitive decline and lower the risk of developing dementia.

Three pieces of sushi contains around three ounces of salmon—a sufficient amount to get those essential fatty acids and boost brain health, according to Nyree Dardarian, director of the Center for Nutrition and Performance and professor at Drexel University.

3. Eggs
Eggs are rich in nutrients such as lutein and choline that support brain function, whether you like them fried, scrambled or poached. Aim to eat one egg per week associated Cognitive decline is slower.

4. Coffee
A morning coffee jolt can provide a brain lift.

“[Coffee] isn’t building brain cells or providing the fuel for the brain neurotransmission but it does seem to help people with neurological diseases,” Lila explains. “Coffee is helping you to be more alert and helping you concentrate.”

Studies The popular beverage may be able to slow cognitive decline as well as improve planning and decision-making abilities. However, too much coffee can have the opposite effect. It was illegal to consume more than six cups of coffee each day. linked There is an increase of 53% in dementia risk.

Avoid these 4 foods or you will be disappointed

1. Fast food
Drive-thru items are high in fat, sugar, and other nutrients.

“Limit your drive thru visits to once a week or less,” says Dardarian. “Eating fast food too often has long-term repercussions on cognitive health.”

Research presented at the 2022 Alzheimer’s Association International Conference showed that adults who got at least 20% of their calories from highly processed foods experienced 25% faster decline in their abilities to plan and execute tasks. For those younger than 30, fast food was consumed more often than three times per week. linked To higher rates of mental distress.

2. Baked goods
Trans fats are found in cookies, cakes, pies, and other delicious baked goods. They can also be listed on food labels as partially hydrogenated oils. Trans fats not only increase your risk of developing heart disease or stroke but also cause damage to the brain.

The highest levels are for adults over 60. trans fats in their blood were 50% more likely to develop any form of dementia and 39% more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease.

3. Aspartame
You should give up diet soda. Aspartame, an artificial sweetener found in countless foods and beverages, inhibits essential brain functions, including the release of dopamine and serotonin, and it’s been associated An increased risk of learning issues, irritability, or other neurobehavioral problems.

4. Alcohol
Chronic alcohol use Reduce brain volume and cause persistent memory and learning problems. Research has shown that even moderate alcohol consumption can cause brain damage. study The brain’s effect on increasing alcohol intake by half a pint per day to one full pint per day was the same as that of aging for two years. This is according to 36,000 adults. You don’t have to give up happy hour but Lila advocates for moderation.

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