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Home > Food & Nutrition > Foods That Help Us Think

Use these mind foods!

Foods that help us think.

Vegetables, whole grains, and good fats will provide lots of health benefits and improve memory. Research indicates that certain nutrients nurture and stimulate brain function. B vitamins, especially B6, B12, and folic acid, protect neurons by breaking down homocysteine, an amino acid that is toxic to nerve cells. They are also involved in making red blood cells, which carry oxygen. Foods like spinach and other dark leafy greens, broccoli, asparagus, strawberries, melons, black beans, and other legumes, citrus fruits, and soybeans are excellent choices in this category.

Antioxidants like vitamins C and E and beta-carotene fight free radicals, which are atoms formed when oxygen interacts with certain molecules. Free radicals are highly reactive and can damage cells, but antioxidants can interact with them safely and neutralize them. Antioxidants also improve the flow of oxygen through the body and brain. Foods like blueberries and other berries, sweet potatoes, red tomatoes, spinach, broccoli, green tea, nuts and seeds, citrus fruits, and liver are excellent choices in this category.

Omega-3 fatty acids are concentrated in the brain and are associated with cognitive function. They count as “healthy” fats that protect the body against inflammation and high cholesterol. Cold-water fish such as salmon, herring, tuna, halibut, and mackerel, walnuts, walnut oil, flaxseed and flaxseed oil are excellent choices in this category.

Because older adults are more prone to B12 and folic acid deficiencies, a supplement may be a good idea for seniors. Those who do not like eating fish can take an Omega-3 supplement. But nutrients work best when they are consumed in foods, so try your best to eat a broad spectrum of colorful plant foods and choose fats that will help clear, not clog, your arteries.

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