7 Brain-Boosting Superfoods That Can Assist With Cognitive Function
Cognitive function refers to how people perceive, remember, speak, think, make decisions and solve problems. As you’re surely aware, cognitive function can depreciate as we age. Many elderly people endure such problems as memory loss, poorer decision-making abilities and slow response times. Thankfully, there are some natural ways to improve brain function in people of all ages. It all starts with what you eat!
Unquestionably, good nutrition is necessary for optimum overall health. But which foods have brain-boosting qualities? Look for ones that are rich in iron, folic acid, vitamin B12, magnesium, zinc and selenium. They are known as “superfoods” because they are so nutritionally dense, making them great for your health.
7 super foods that can assist with cognitive function
Are you a guacamole fan? If so, you’ll be very happy to know that the wonderful dip’s chief ingredient, avocado, is a world-renowned superfood. Avocados are chock full of vitamin B, vitamin C, folate and vitamin K. According to Calgary’s Revelation Health Centre, this combination of healthful nutrients is known to reduce the risk of stroke. It also improves cognitive function, especially when it comes to memory and concentration.
An extremely popular seafood dish, salmon is as delicious as it is healthy for you. Thanks to its high omega-3 fatty acid content, this fish is a well-known “brain food”. “The brain is the fattiest organ in the body, and foods rich in omega 3, such as fatty fish, help lower triglyceride levels and blood pressure, thereby keeping blood vessels healthy and brain cells flexible,” reports Linda Cuda of The Calgary Herald.
For every 100 grams of banana, you receive about 358 milligrams of potassium. Why is that important? Potassium helps to carry oxygen to the brain. This keeps the brain and nerves functioning at their best, allowing for clarity of thought. The potassium in bananas also offers electrolytes that keep our brains hydrated.
This beautiful reddish-purple root vegetable should be a staple in a lot more salads. This is because, in addition to the added flavouring, beets are jam-packed with essential vitamins, minerals and plant compounds. Some of them have medicinal properties. For example, root vegetables like beets are rich in nitrates. That means they can dilate blood vessels to allow more oxygenated blood to reach the brain.
You’ve probably heard the word “antioxidants” regularly used in descriptions of blueberries. Antioxidants are heralded for protecting our cells against free radicals. By doing so, they minimize the risk of heart disease, cancer and other illnesses. In addition, antioxidant-rich blueberries have the ability to enhance your cognitive abilities.
6. Barley and chickpeas
“Glucose is the brain’s preferred source of fuel; however, glucose fuel stores are small, which is why we need a continuous supply,” reports Cuda, “Whole grains and legumes like barley and chickpeas provide the brain with a slow, sustained release of glucose. They’re also rich in folic acid, which has been shown to boost memory.”
7. Spinach and kale
It worked for Popeye, right? Extremely high in vitamin A and vitamin C, spinach is also folate and fibre-rich. As explained by the Revelation Health Centre, spinach “helps to break down homocysteines – a chemical that has a key role in the development of dementia.” Vitamin E-rich kale is another nutritious antioxidant that has been proven to slow cognitive decline in older adults.
Have any questions about how to assist your elderly loved one with nutrition or to learn more about our services, please don’t hesitate to call Senior Homecare by Angels at 403-862-0129 or if outside of Calgary, toll-free at 1-877-209-6142. You may also visit the Contact Us page to complete and submit a simple inquiry form.
Gerry Gatto is a trained health care administrator and the owner of Senior Homecare® By Angels a Calgary based company. Helping Calgary seniors remain in their homes and maintain their independence with the assistance of a dedicated caregiver.