For the first time in human history, we have more people living over the age of 60 than below the age of 15. It’s true that living longer can increase the risk of suffering from chronic diseases that often appear later in life, but the study of epigenetics is proving that most of what happens to us is attributed to environmental triggers. Fortunately, we can control the largest “trigger”: our diet.
People mistakenly believe that certain changes—including losing brain function—are inevitable as they age. This does not have to be your fate. By implementing a few strategic diet interventions, you can help preserve or even improve your brain function as you age.
Include Plenty of Whole Foods
Vegetables, fruits, high-quality proteins, and healthy fats are all critical to your overall brain health. Broccoli, kale, and other green veggies are high in vitamin C and magnesium, and other important vegetables contain unique phytonutrients that support your overall health. The same goes with fruits like berries.
Protein sources like wild caught, cold water fish, organic poultry and eggs, and grass-fed meat are all responsible for producing enzymes and hormones necessary to support brain cells and promote higher energy levels. Increasing your intake Omega-3 fats and decreasing intake of Omega-6 is also critical. Almonds, olives, salmon, olive oil, and coconut oil are all excellent sources of Omega-3 fats that fight inflammation in the body and boost brain health.
Avoid These Choices
Fruit juices, jellies, and syrups are highly concentrated in fructose, which means they will spike your blood sugar and cause your body to store too much fat and become inflamed. Cut these out of your diet as much as possible. The same can be said for most types of sugar additives, like those found in white bread, pasta, cereal, salad dressings, ketchup, and tomato sauce. Sugar has the potential to destroy brain function like a blow torch pointed toward the brain cells.
Remember Your Microbiome
No discussion of the brain is complete without addressing the microbiome. The microbiome refers to the ecosystem living in your gut. Bacteria make up 90 percent of the cells in your body. Most bacteria are actually beneficial and contribute to your overall well being and the health of your brain. In fact, the bacteria in your gut are responsible for producing 95 percent of the serotonin and 50 percent of the dopamine, the “feel good” neurotransmitters! Support your bugs by eating fermented foods like kefir, kimchi kombucha tea, apple cider vinegar, and miso soup.
To gain more insight about the best nutrition choices to improve your health and wellbeing, reach out to London Wellness in Sarasota, Florida. Registered dietitian nutritionist Bonni London is dedicated to using nutrition to help you achieve your goals, alleviate your illnesses, and improve your overall quality of life. Call (941) 584-8487 to learn more.