*Brain Food For All Ages

Thursday, March 14, 2019
Image from Yummy Beet
If you've been following my blog or social media for the past year or two then you'll have seen some of my food posts and I often share what I'm eating on my Instagram stories (@ofbeautyand). You may know that I've been vegetarian since I was a child - my grandad has had a vegetarian diet for most of his life which helped me as no-one else is vegetarian in my family so it's nice that we can both share that together.

Today's post is all about the specific food items that are known 'brain foods'. Foods that are generally described as 'brain foods' are essential for everyone but especially the elderly to stay healthy and to try to keep memory and cognition as fully functioning and as sharp as they can be, for as long as they can be. Diseases which affect memory and brain function are more common with age so it's very important to opt for more 'brain foods' for not only yourself but your elderly relatives too.

I'm a millennial so naturally I love avocado but I know that it isn't for everyone; however it is a very nutritious fruit filled with heart-healthy fats, potassium (they contain more potassium than bananas) and fibre. Studies have also shown that regular consumption of avocados can lower cholesterol levels and another study has demonstrated that using avocados or avocado oil can help the absorption of antioxidants. Avocados won't really be suitable for all ages, they are a bit of an acquired taste but I love them and I think that they can be used in so many ways so that all ages can enjoy them such as an avocado cake mousse, guacamole dip or on toast.

Pumpkin Seeds, Sage & Nuts
Sage, a delicious herb when fried to be crispy, has been known for a while to help with memory and concentration as well as depression and Alzheimer's disease. Along with sage, pumpkin seeds are an easy addition to your diet in the form of snack bars, granola, salad toppers or on their own as a snack. Pumpkin seeds contain so many nutrients including magnesium and zinc which are known to improve sleep quality (sleep is essential for the brain health). Lastly, there are so many nuts and seeds that are packed with vitamins, minerals, fibre and protein, all of which are needed for a healthy diet. Although as with everything on this list, you'll only experience any benefits with regular consumption over time and if you have any concerns or questions then you should definitely consult your GP.

As we all know, specific vitamins have specific benefits and the varieties of vitamin B are know to help with brain health. Numerous foods are high in vitamin B such as beans, lentils, dark leafy vegetables and wholegrains such as brown rice and barley. More research is needed in terms of the effects of all B vitamins but so far they are shown to help increase stress tolerance, improve memory and may even help with diseases such as Alzheimer's and schizophrenia, the former is something that affects so many elderly individuals and it's a disease that has affected a couple of elderly people who are close to me. Alzheimer's disease is incredibly devastating, it's awful to see and if there's anything that can help or even prevent it then it's worth a try - including something as easy to change as your diet.

Blueberries & Blackcurrants 
The recommended minimum daily number of fruits and vegetables you should eat is five so we all know that they're full of essential goodies. All fruit options are great healthy choices to make but blueberries in particular are thought to help combat cellular ageing by reducing inflammation. Fruits high in vitamin C are ideal options as brain food as research suggests that individuals who are deficient in vitamin C could be at risk of Alzheimer's and dementia. Fruit is such an easy, no fuss addition to any diet as a healthy snack or breakfast option for all ages.

Lastly for this list is my favourite veggie, broccoli! I love broccoli as it's so easy to add into any meal, from soup, salads, pasta dishes, on it's own with a dip, to bulk out a wrap or in a stir-fry. As well as being a very versatile ingredient, broccoli contains glucosinolates that slow the breakdown a specific neurotransmitter which is needed to keep the central nervous system working properly - low levels of the neurotransmitter have been related to Alzheimer's disease. When my grandad visits our house for various occasions such as Christmas and birthdays, I alway cook for both of us and I tend to make more traditional meals such as shepards pie but I always add in extra nutritious ingredients such as spinach, lentils and broccoli as I know that my grandad wouldn't add in those healthy extras. Also I always make more than I would typically so he has healthy meals for the rest of the week.

I have to add a little note here that I'm not a doctor or nutritionist although I've taken information from reputable studies and sites (during my time at university, I loved searching for peer reviewed studies and research...). Also while certain vitamins are great for specific conditions or issues, I think it's best have try and consume your daily amount of all of them as they seem to work best together, for example, some vitamins help the absorption of others.

Do you eat any of these foods often? Would you suggest any of these 'brain foods' to your elderly relatives? 

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  1. Looks good and yummy

    How is it going?

  2. All very yummy and so good for you


  3. I’m not a Milennial and have been eating avocado on toast for most of my adult life, I love how suddenly it’s the “in dish” for Instagram x

  4. I want to try and eat more of these foods. They are so good for you xx

  5. We eat a lot of blueberries for this very reason x

  6. I have been trying to embrace a vegan diet whenever I can at the moment and I am loving it!

    Danielle xx

  7. I need to start eating better - these all sound so good!

    Erin || MakeErinOver

  8. I love broccoli haha, adding it to so many meals at the moment x

    Tiffany x www.foodandotherloves.co.uk

  9. Great blog post lovely, being a vegan myself I love that you're raising awareness about vegan food and how good it is! 🌸💜

    With love, Alisha Valerie x | www.alishavalerie.com

  10. I'm not Vegan but this is really informative!

    Jenny in Neverland

  11. I’m vegetarian too but I’m finding it so hard to get the veggies into me. Any tips are welcome!

  12. Great advice thanks! I love all these foods x

  13. Love blueberries and broccoli but I do not get everyone's love for avocados!

  14. I'm slowly starting to like avocado

  15. I hate avocado and I really wish I could get on board with it. Love everything else listed though x



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