Put ‘Brain Food’ on the Daily Menu

Mediterranean omega-3 diet.

Get smart.  Eat brain food.  And here’s a handy list to think about:

  1. Fish, the oily the better, like salmon, tuna and sardines. AARP calls it “Miracle-Gro for the brain.”
  2. Blueberries and grapes.  Same as above.
  3. Beets.  Increases blood flow to promote neurons in the hippocampus, the “re-membery” part of your brain.
  4. Tomatoes and avocados.  Same as above.  They help you learn and remember things.
  5. Walnuts.  The No. 1 nut for helping clear plaque from your brain.  Almonds, pecans, peanuts, Brazil nuts, pistachios and a host of others are good for you too.  But only about a handful a day is right.  And make sure you’re not allergic to any of them.
  6. Coffee.  Contains a protein that promotes neuron growth.  Caffeine does wonders too.  Drinking coffee is like having a fine red wine.  Try smelling and swirling your first sip, and appreciate the genuine flavor of the bean.  You may never want to add sugar or cream again.
  7. Red wine and red grapes.  Same as above, minus the caffeine.
  8. Dark chocolate.  Go no lower than 72 percent cocoa.
  9. Leafy greens, including green tea.  Broccoli, spinach, turnip greens, beet greens, kale, collards.  All are superfoods loaded with antioxidants.  Some inflammation in the body is necessary to help heal wounds and remove irritants.  But uncontrolled inflammation (rashes, psoriasis and the like) is a warning that something might be destroying neurons in your brain.  Antioxidants intervene.
  10. Olive oil.  Same as above plus Omega 3.
  11. Water.  Playing tennis and having trouble keeping the score?  Even a mild case of dehydration can reduce your mental energy and capacity.

BONUS:  And don’t forget your vitamins — especially B6, B12, C, iron and calcium.

Lisa Burbage

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