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November 27, 2013

6 Unexpected Foods Good For Brain Health

You likely know there are foods that have benefits for your brain. Oily fish and walnuts, for example, contain high levels of Omega-3 fatty acids, which can reduce the risk of memory loss. But scientists are finding even more foods that are unexpectedly boosting brain health for older adults.

A recent Harvard study, for example, shows drinking two cups of hot chocolate per day can help keep your brain healthy and prevent memory decline. Researchers found drinking hot cocoa improved blood flow and sparked energy in the brain.

Hot cocoa isn’t the only item in your kitchen that you might be surprised to learn is good food for thought. We take a look at a few more brain-boosting foods here:

  1. Coffee: If you’'re not a hot chocolate fan, coffee can stand in as another beneficial hot drink. Researchers have linked daily coffee consumption to reduced risk of dementia. It’s also been shown to slow the effects of Alzheimer’s disease.  
  2. Popcorn: While artificial popcorn butter may have a negative effect on your brain, researchers at the University of Scranton found that natural popcorn actually has high levels of polyphenols. These antioxidants have been shown to benefit brain health. Air-popped corn is the best kind for your overall health.
  3. Carrots: Eating carrots benefits your eyes, but did you know they'’re also good for your brain? Carrots contain a significant amount of luteolin, a compound shown to reduce brain inflammation and memory deficits, according to a study in the Journal of Nutrition.
  4. Champagne: Eating for your brain can be a luxurious experience. According to a University of Reading study, drinking three glasses of champagne a week can counteract memory loss associated with aging. Toast to your health!
  5. Yamabushitake Mushroom: You probably aren’'t already eating these Japanese mushrooms, but it might be worth searching them out. A double-blind study showed eating Yamabushitake mushrooms provides mild improvements for older adults diagnosed with cognitive impairments.

You can find even more beneficial brain foods by checking out the blog “Foods that Boost Brain Power for Older Adults.”

Photo Credit: striatic

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