Although there is no magic food to keep your brain sharp, there is a pattern of dietary practices that, if consumed regularly, has been shown to improve brain functionality. These same foods help protect your cardiovascular system!
- 2 or more servings a day of green leafy vegetables such as kale, spinach, broccoli, and collards.
- 2-3 servings a week of fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, herring, and sardines. Those lower in mercury include cod, pollack, and canned light tuna.
- Berries and apples.
- Tea & coffee in moderate quantities (200 mg/day caffeine) (More research is needed).
- 5 or more servings a week of nuts such as almonds, walnuts, and hazelnuts are rich in vitamin E and antioxidants.
We all experience demanding schedules from time to time. Try these simple food swap tips to keep you on your toes.
- Instead of soda or sweetened beverages, consume unsweetened coffee, tea, or water flavored with slices of lemon, limes, or other fruits
- Instead of fries, choose a side green salad with a drizzle of olive oil and vinegar
- Instead of processed lunch meat or fast food sandwiches, choose chicken breast on whole-grain bread or nut butter and sliced fruit on whole grain bread
- Instead of bacon or processed cheese, use lettuce, tomatoes, onions, as a sandwich topping
- Instead of mayonnaise, choose avocado (sliced or mashed)
- Instead of red meat, choose chicken or omega-3 rich fish
- Instead of white rice, pasta, or bread choose whole-grain varieties
- Instead of white pasta with sauce, choose half the amount of whole grain pasta and add vegetables for bulk such as broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, or grape tomatoes
- Instead of cakes, cookies, and pastries choose whole fruit with Greek yogurt
- Instead of snacking on chops, choose a handful of nuts