What Can a Healthy Diet Do For Your Brain?

When most people think about the benefits of sticking to a healthy diet, they think of things like heart health and  weight loss. However, did you know that what you eat can also help keep your brain healthy? A growing body of evidence suggests that eating certain foods can improve brain functioning, protect you from stroke, and help to stave off Alzheimer’s disease. Put these nutrition tips into action to preserve your brain health.

Food for thought

Choose Dark-Skinned Fruits and Vegetables

Any fruits and vegetables you add to your diet are good news for your health, but the dark-skinned ones are especially good for your brain health. That is because dark-skinned fruits and vegetables have the highest levels of antioxidants that protect your brain. When selecting fruits, choose things like berries, prunes, plums, red grapes, and cherries. For vegetables, dish up kale, spinach, beets, and red bell peppers.

Eat Cold-Water Fish

Cold-water fish, like salmon, halibut, trout, and tuna, have high levels of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s can help to reduce the risk of cardiovascular issues that can lead to stroke. Aim to eat these fish a few times per week. If you aren’t a fan of fish, you can get the same benefits by adding walnuts to your diet and taking an omega-3 supplement. However, be sure to check with your doctor before adding any supplements to avoid interactions with your existing medications.

Watch Your Caloric Intake

Maintaining a healthy weight is important for brain health. When you’re obese, you have an increased risk of stroke and dementia. Eat a balanced diet filled with plant-based foods, low-fat dairy, whole grains, and lean proteins. Consider talking to your doctor about a healthy calorie range for you. Managing your weight reduces your risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease, which can all impact brain health.

Make an appointment with a physician at Riverside Community Hospital to learn more about adopting a healthy eating plan and the benefits of nutrition for your brain. At our Riverside hospital, you will also find a heart hospital, robotic surgery, OBGYN care, and much more. To make an appointment, call (951) 788-3000. 

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