When we think of healthy foods, we often focus on weight loss or maintenance. But the truth is, we all need a variety of nutrient-dense foods in order to protect ourselves from various diseases and age-related conditions. This is just as true for those who don’t want or need to lose weight!
In addition to a healthy body, the foods you eat can protect your mental and emotional health. In fact, we know that diet plays a role in warding off cognitive decline and conditions such as Alzheimer’s in later years. If you’re interested in eating the right nutrients to support your brain health, check out these seven foods:
- Oily fish (like salmon, trout, or sardines)
- Leafy greens (like kale, spinach, and collards)
- Berries (all types)
- Nuts and seeds (like walnuts, pecans, flax seeds, chia seeds, and more)
- Dark chocolate
These foods help protect your health by providing the right mix of vital nutrients, like fatty acids (in the fish, nuts, and seeds), lutein (in the eggs), and antioxidants (in the leafy greens, berries, turmeric, and chocolate). They also help to fight inflammation, which is linked to a number of negative health outcomes from cancer to dementia (and many others).
Remember, the effects of a healthy diet are best noticed over the long term. Will you change your eating patterns and notice an immediate improvement in brain health right away? Probably not, although you might notice a better overall mood and more energy. But when you eat the right nutrients consistently over time, your commitment to health will pay off in the long run. As you get older, you will be less likely to experience memory troubles, cognitive decline, depression, and other problems associated with age.
And of course, we should all round out a healthy diet with plenty of exercise. Staying active, especially outdoors when you can, is another way to fight chronic disease. Research has even shown regular exercise to be effective in protecting brain health.
For more information on an anti-aging dietary regimen, call us to schedule an appointment. We can show you how to slash your risk of many common chronic diseases, plus help you look and feel your best.