The Nourished Mind
When you think about fitness, you probably think about marathons and muscles, but do you ever consider brain fitness? You should! Your brain plays a critical role in every area of your life, from learning, working and playing, to personality, aptitude and memory. While the brain is one of the body’s most important organs, it is also one of the most mysterious. There is a lot that science can’t yet explain, including why some people can still recall the name of their first-grade teacher at age 100, while others develop the early signs of Alzheimer’s disease in their 60s. But emerging research indicates that with a few relatively simple lifestyle choices, you can maximize your brain health while minimizing cognitive decline and the risks of age-related memory loss. Here’s how.
Helpful Tips for a Nourished Mind:
- Switch out saturated and trans fats for healthier fats like the ones found in olive oil and fatty fish such as salmon or ocean trout.
- Maximize your intake of DHA, the omega-3 fatty acid that makes up 50 percent of the brain and is a must-have to support lifelong brain health. Aim for at least 200 mg of DHA per day to maintain brain health. Find DHA in fatty fish such as salmon and trout, along with fortified foods like juice, milk, eggs, tortillas, yogurt and supplements. Look for foods and beverages that have the life’sDHATM to ensure you’re getting a pure, algal source of DHA.
- Eat a diet rich in vitamin E. Vitamin E helps support brain health and can be found in milk, butter, eggs, vegetable oils, nuts, whole grains, wheat germ and dark leafy greens like spinach. Vitamin E is also available in a supplement.
- Add lutein to your diet. Lutein is an important natural antioxidant that helps maintain healthy eyes and supports brain health as we age. Dark leafy green vegetables (kale, spinach, collards and turnip greens), egg yolks, peas and corn are super foods when it comes to providing lutein. Lutein is also available in a supplement.
- Aim for nine servings (each about the size of a fist) per day of fresh, washed fruits and vegetables with the skin on to maximize the nutritional punch. Make sure you’re eating the colorful ones like red grapes, cranberries, blueberries and tomatoes. These contain powerful polyphenols that decrease the inflammation that is the enemy of brain health.