For stroke survivors, taking care of your brain is a top priority. Along with rehabilitation exercises, you can help your brain improve with a supportive diet. Now, this ‘diet’ doesn’t have to be full of crazy, outlandish foods. In fact, our top 7 ‘brain foods’ are probably already in your kitchen!
Whether you’re eating them or drinking their juice, pomegranates are high in potent antioxidants, which help protect you from the damage caused by free radicals. Since the brain is most sensitive to free radical damage, pomegranates are an obvious brain food.
Salmon is high in omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for brain function. More specifically, an unusually large portion of these omega-3s are DHA – a fatty acid that’s even further linked to brain health.
When you hear the word tomato, do you also think of lycopene? If so, we’re not surprised. Tomatoes received massive attention when they were discovered to be a rich source of the antioxidant lycopene. Lycopene was found to provide neuroprotective benefits and reduce the effect of brain damage due to ischemic stroke in rats. Many lycopene supplements now exist, but we recommend getting your lycopene straight from the source. Tomato soup, anyone?
5. Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds are a good source of vitamin E, an antioxidant that corresponds with less cognitive decline as we get older. (Noticing a trend? Antioxidants are important for brain health!) Try adding some walnuts or flaxseeds (which are both a good source of brain-boosting omega-3s) to your morning oatmeal or smoothies.
Avocados are a fatty fruit that can help you think faster! You see, the grey matter in our brain that processes information relies on oleic acid to perform at optimal speed, and avocados are an excellent source of oleic acid. Try adding a quarter of an avocado to your sandwich, salad, or smoothie!
Beans aren’t directly a brain food, but they help deliver food to your brain! By ‘food’ we mean glucose, which is your brain’s primary source of fuel. Beans play a role by helping your blood glucose levels stabilize, which will help deliver a steady supply of food to your brain. It’s pretty sweet.
What’s your favorite brain food?