Aging doesn’t happen overnight. It happens slowly in little changes that you might not even notice at first. But you know it’s happening. That’s why it’s in your best interest to do everything in your power to slow the signs of aging and to take care of your mental health and overall wellbeing.
The brain is an important piece of that puzzle. In fact, the brain only takes up 3% of a person’s body weight but is responsible for using up 17% of the body’s energy. Everything from physical exercise to the foods you eat can impact your brain’s function. And as you age, it’s even more important to give your brain the essential nutrients it needs to stay strong.
The 7 Best Essential Nutrients for Brain Health
People know they should be eating healthy, but oftentimes they don’t know exactly what healthy means. So, what type of nutrients are the most important when it comes to brain health? When it comes to your brain health and memory, below are the top 7 nutrients you should add to your diet:
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids – Consuming Omega-3’s is linked to general thinking, thought processing, and memory. Reach for salmon, soybeans, walnuts, flax seeds and chia seeds.
- B Vitamins – Taking B vitamins can help lower the risk of developing dementia because it supports mental performance. Add more greens to your diet with spinach, broccoli, kale and even cauliflower.
- Cacao – Antioxidants, like the ones found in cacao, have been shown to help stimulate blood flow in the brain and improve memory. Keep a stash of dark chocolate and berries nearby.
- Vitamin K – This often-overlooked vitamin serves many purposes including preventing heart disease, blood clotting and supporting brain performance. Add leafy greens to your diet including spinach, basil, broccoli and collard greens.
- Vitamin E – This powerful vitamin protects cells from oxidative stress caused by free radicals supporting brain health in aging individuals. Sunflower seeds, almonds and whole grains are great sources of this beneficial vitamin.
- Zinc – Directly tied to enhancing memory and thinking ability, zinc also plays a pivotal role in the immune system. Add pumpkin seeds, dark chocolate, potatoes or seafood to your diet.
- Lycopene – This antioxidant has been shown to protect seniors against dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Reach for red fruits and veggies like watermelon, tomatoes and red peppers.
Sometimes, it can seem complicated to find a diet that is rich in the essential that promote brain health and improve memory. The best foods to reach for are ones that are high in antioxidants, especially flavonoids and vitamin E, B vitamins, healthy fats and omega fatty acids. Enjoy the effects on your brain and see how the rest of your body will reap the benefits as well.
Pursue a Healthier Lifestyle at Heritage Senior Living
Senior living doesn’t have to be limiting, in fact, the right senior living community can help you pursue a healthier lifestyle so you can stay independent for longer. At Heritage Senior Living, we offer nutritionally balanced cuisine, life enriching programming and amenities that make life easier. Enjoy all retirement has to offer at our Wisconsin independent living communities. Want to learn more? Contact us today to learn more about our senior living options and to schedule a tour.