If you want to practice and maintain a diet associated with good health, the Mediterranean diet ranks as one of the best! It promotes heart health, and also brain health. Foods that are good for your heart are also good for your brain. This diet is beneficial in maintaining your memory and reducing the risk of dementia.
Most diets recommend eating healthy foods and avoiding unhealthy foods and drinks. So it is easy to assume that all diets are good for brain health, but some are certainly much better than others.
The Mediterranean diet is popular because it is known for improving all aspects of health and body function, including the functioning of the brain. The diet can improve your brain’s performance against cognitive decline and memory loss by doing the following.
Prepare Meals and Snacks That Emphasize on Brain-Boosting Foods
The Mediterranean diet has many foods that boost brain health, so make sure you include some in your snacks too.
For example, green leafy vegetables, dark berries such as blueberries, avocado, and nuts, are all excellent choices. Walnuts are a super choice! They even look like a brain, so they are easy to remember to put on your list of brain boosters. Many foods such as these prevent the risk of dementia and promote longevity.
Eat Fatty Fish and Seafood Regularly
Fatty fish and salmon contain omega 3 fatty acids, which are superfoods when it comes to keeping your brain healthy, so make sure you include these in your diet plan as much as possible.
Fish such as fresh herring, mackerel, salmon, trout, and tuna, should be included in your meals at least two or three times a week. The more often the better. You can also add other types of seafood to your list, such as crab, mussels, and shrimp.
Seafood’s omega-3 boosts cognitive function and fights depression, lowers the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, and promotes healthy brain growth. All good reasons to eat fatty fish and seafood.
Consume Poultry and Eggs in Moderation
Poultry products such as eggs, chicken, and turkey should be consumed in moderation. They are all good for you as they contain lots of protein, and your brain needs protein.
Choose Healthy Fats or Oil
Healthy fats and oils include avocados and olive oil. Extra-virgin or virgin olive oil retains more nutrients than other highly processed oils. Olives contain polyphenols and are an excellent plant-based source of antioxidants. The oleic acid and other phenols found in olive oil have antioxidant properties that play a role in fighting against free radicals that can cause significant damage to cells. Therefore olive oil protects the brain against free radical damage which helps keep the brain in good health.
Do Not Eat Sugary Foods – Replace Sugar with Healthy Alternatives
There are many healthy (and tasty) options to choose from in the Mediterranean diet if you have a sweet tooth and still crave sweet treats. You need to remove sugar-laden foods from your diet if you want to keep your brain healthy. This is so important if you want to reduce the risk of developing depression, poor cognitive function, and worse.
Instead of your favorite donut or cake, choose a juicy piece of fruit, or some Greek yogurt sprinkled with chopped fruit and nuts. If you love the taste of cinnamon on your donut, that’s ok, the cinnamon is healthy! You can sprinkle ground cinnamon on your yogurt instead.
You should even find your sweet cravings begin to melt away as your blood sugar levels begin to return to healthy levels. Removing sugar from your diet can boost more than just your brain’s health.
Substitute Salt with Healthy Herbs and Spices
Limit salt intake but use herbs and spices instead. They will improve the flavors of your daily meals in a healthy way. As we just mentioned, cinnamon is an excellent spice for the brain.
So too is turmeric. Turmeric gives your foods a curry zest, so add it to many of your dishes to spice things up. Ginger, sage, and rosemary are more brain boosters.
Red Wine for Wine Lovers
Having a glass of red wine at dinner occasionally can be part of your meal plan. If you prefer not to drink alcohol, you could drink grape juice. The plant compound, polyphenol, may help protect your heart and brain health.
As always, if you want to keep your brain healthy you need to make sure it gets plenty of water and oxygen. So spend most of your day being active rather than being sedentary. Do whatever you need to do to get moving. It doesn’t need to be strenuous. Also, make sure you keep socially active, as a stimulating conversation is good for your brain too.
You can take care of your brain by following the Mediterranean diet and its associated lifestyle. The Mediterranean diet is so much more than just healthy eating.