Eating good foods isn’t just about maintaining a healthy body and giving us energy. As a matter of fact, what we eat has a direct impact on our brain health as well, including helping to improve memory and overall cognitive function. For seniors who have been diagnosed with or at risk for Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, changing their diet can make a big difference!
Today, our Palm Spring memory care community wants to take a few moments to explore some of the most brain healthy foods that are out there! You might be surprised by what’s on the list and may even want to go grocery shopping by the end.
Brain Healthy Foods
Foods that are good for brain function and memory retention come in all shapes and sizes. The dishes that you can create are virtually endless! Even if you have dietary restrictions due to an allergy or are perhaps lactose intolerant, we guarantee that you will find something for you.
Right out of the gate, we want to demonstrate that healthy eating isn’t all about salads or greens. While these are of course good for you, and we will have some on this list, we want to take a minute to talk about salmon. Even subbing out red meat for salmon once a week can make a huge difference.
Salmon and other cold water fish, such as tuna, sardines, and halibut are all high in omega-3. If you have a higher quantity of omega-3 in your brain, the better it will function. Lower levels of omega-3 have been linked to poor cognitive performance and memory recall.
Is it just us, or are walnuts kind of brain shaped? Well, we’re certain it’s not a coincidence, especially with how big of an impact walnuts have on brain health. According to the Alzheimer’s Research Center, walnuts are rich in Vitamin E that work hard to trap free radicals that are known to cause damage to brain cells. People who consume higher levels of Vitamin E are at a reduced risk of developing cognitive impairments such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
If we had the time, this whole blog post could be singing the praises of green tea and all its benefits. This delicious beverage is high in antioxidants, enzymes, amino acids, and vitamins that all work together to help bolster brain function. It also contains a nootropic called L-Theanine, which helps to reduce stress and anxiety. Enjoy green tea in a hot beverage or even over ice while out on the patio of our Palm Spring memory care community! Either way, you can’t go wrong.
One of the most iconic breakfast foods, eggs aren’t just a tasty way to start your day – they’re also an excellent source of choline! Choline is an essential nutrient that the brain uses as a neurotransmitter and plays an important role in memory and communication between different brain cells. According to a study out of Boston University, choline intake is associated with a higher performance on memory tests.
Blueberries are one of our favorite superfoods to talk about! This delicious little fruit is packed with so many nutrients and antioxidants, making it a powerful agent in protecting and preserving brain health. In fact, it’s one of the only foods that have proven to help against the loss of motor function as we age. For senior residents at Palm Springs memory care, this is a great way to improve short term memory loss. Add them to a muffin or pancake mix or simply eat by the handful to reap the benefits!
Sure, guac might cost extra but it’s worth the price, especially when avocados are so beneficial to brain health! Avocados’ impact on our brains might be indirect, but it is still very powerful, as they can actually help to improve blood flow. In order for our brains to operate at their optimal capacity, we have to make sure we’re getting enough blood, and in turn, oxygen to that precious organ. So go ahead, make that guac dip!
Dark green, leafy vegetables are good for the body in so many different ways. Spinach is high in folic acid, which is actually known to help decrease the risk of dementia specifically in women. Other great veggies from this category also include broccoli, cabbage, and kale may even help to improve memory.
We promised this list would feature a few surprises, and one of those includes dark chocolate! This tasty treat is home to flavonoids (antioxidant plant compounds) as well as caffeine. Both of these can actually help to improve learning and memory due to the area of the brain that it impacts. While we don’t suggest eating it at every meal, when you are after a good dessert, give dark chocolate a try!
With fall right around the corner, pumpkin flavored everything is about to make a resurgence as all the rage. You can jump on that bandwagon with the peace of mind that pumpkin seeds are actually a food that is valuable to brain function. Pumpkin seeds contain antioxidants that help to protect the brain from free radicals and the damage that they can cause. Also, pumpkin seeds are excellent sources of magnesium, zinc, copper, and iron.
Palm Springs Memory Care
Here at Bayshire Rancho Mirage, we understand the importance of having a healthy, well-balanced diet. Our senior residents get to enjoy three nutritious chef prepared meals a day, all of which are planned by a Registered Dietician. This means that we work hard to ensure that your senior loved one is eating meals that are both tasty as well as nutritious.
If you want to check out our Palm Spring memory care community for yourself, call us today to schedule a tour! We would be happy to show you around, answer any questions you may have, as well as help you to determine if we are a good fit for your senior.