Most of us place a tremendous emphasis on our body aging in a healthy manner as we get older – but what about our brains? As some people age, they have a significant decline in their mental processing, experience memory loss, and have a decreased cognitive ability. This is why it might be good for seniors (and everyone for that matter) to focus on foods that might be beneficial to keeping their brain healthy. These are four different foods that are proven to help with memory retention and cognitive function.
Food Option #1 – Salmon
Salmon is a great omega-3 superfood that is a great way to add omega-3 fatty acids and lean protein to your diet. These omega-3 oils have anti-inflammatory substances that are going to prevent inflammation and other issues. Because the body cannot synthesize omega-3 itself (and the fact that it is an essential fatty acid) means that it is vital that you get this fatty acid through your diet.
Food Option #2 – Walnuts
Another great source of those important anti-inflammatory nutrients, walnuts also help with the promotion of blood flow. Because of those improvements, it helps our brain get more oxygen. According to research from the 2010 International Conference on Alzheimer’s, walnuts were able to improve motor skill coordination, learning, and memory in white mice. These omega-3 acids are essential for healthy cognitive function, making walnuts an important staple in any senior’s diet.
Food Option #3 – Blackberries
Our brain cells become inflamed as we get older, this makes it far more difficult for our cells to communicate with one another. According to a Tufts University study from 2009, blackberries have the necessary antioxidants (known as polyphenols) that are able to promote neuron communication and prevent inflammation.
Food Option #4 – Avocados
You get monounsaturated fats when you eat avocados – meaning that it helps to promote healthy blood flow. Even though blueberries get most of the attention, avocados are equally impressive when it comes to promoting overall brain health. Because these avocados are rich in a fatty acid called oleic acid, they are able to help with cognitive function. This type of acid helps with the production of myelin, which in turn guides information through our brain. We notice a significant slowdown of the delivery of information when we have a deficiency of myelin.
Small Changes – Big Difference
If this list of foods sounds a bit overwhelming at first, it is highly recommended that you try them in small doses when you first start making changes. Just using them as a small snack is going to be able to make a difference in seniors.