Best Brain Boosting Foods
The WIN experts panel of doctors, researchers and teachers have rated the following foods and food groups for five stars. The Brainazon rating system is based upon university research, expert opinion and consumer reports.
Healthy Brain Diet by Food Group
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Blueberries are what Steven Pratt, MD, author of Superfoods Rx: calls "brainberries". Research indicates, Dr. Pratt observes, that blueberries help protect the brain from oxidative stress and may reduce the effects of age-related conditions such as Alzheimer's disease or dementia.
- Wild Salmon
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Deep-water fish, such as salmon, are rich in omega-3 essential fatty acids, which are essential for brain function. Omega-3s also contain anti-inflammatory substances. Other oily fish that provide the benefits of omega-3s are sardines and herring.
- Nuts and Seeds
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Nuts and seeds are good sources of vitamin E experts say. Higher levels of vitamin E correspond with less cognitive decline as you get older. It is also suggested that we add an ounce a day of walnuts, hazelnuts, Brazil nuts, filberts, almonds, cashews, peanuts, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, flax seed, and unhydrogenated nut butters such as peanut butter, almond butter, and tahini.
Brainazon Alert Other foods and groups associated with mental and physical health.
Ann Kulze MD, author of the acclaimed "Dr. Ann's 10 Step Diet" believes that avocados are almost as good as blueberries in promoting brain health. The avocado is a monounsaturated fat, which contributes to healthy blood flow. "And healthy blood flow means a healthy brain," she says.
Whole grains, such as oatmeal, whole-grain breads, and brown rice can reduce the risk for heart disease. "Every organ in the body is dependent on blood flow," says Pratt. "If you promote cardiovascular health, you're promoting good flow to the organ system, which includes the brain."