As romantic as it seems to have “The Notebook” moments, where our partner recounts the best moments of our lives to us while we fall in love with them all over again, Alzheimer’s is NO joke.
Our mid-twenties is a crucial stage for health adjustments. This is also said to be the years when we cultivate our thinking and exercise our brains before we get older. Memory loss can be prevented as early as now. With all kinds of diet, health plans, and workout routines, how do we know what will benefit us most?
Exercise is only a portion of what you can do to improve brain power. Although physical activity helps improve cognitive function, it’s NOT the only mental drill you can do. Like our body, our brain needs to be challenged and cultivated.
There are lots of brain exercises and mind games you can get into and productively waste your time on. Learn a foreign language. Perform neurobic exercises.
But the most fun and convenient way to a healthy brain? Eating.
Who can say no to that?
Best Bites for a Healthy Brain
1.) Nuts and seeds
Sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, pecans, macadamia nuts, pistachios, almonds, cashews, walnuts – you name it. The omega-3 found in these nuts can help give you a healthy brain as it provides fiber and protein, while boosting immunity.
Nuts and seeds also contain minerals like magnesium, calcium and zinc. These have built-in antioxidants and are good sources of vitamin E. Although they’re easy to travel with and package, eat them in moderation.
If you’re craving something sweet to improve your memory and concentration, count on blueberries to do the job for you. Blueberries contain antioxidants that stimulate blood and oxygen flow to the brain. A fresh of bowl of these berries will definitely keep your mind fresh.
Fish like tuna and salmon are other sources of omega-3 and should be eaten at least twice a week. Too much of it and you’ll be in danger of consuming an unreasonable amount of mercury, though.
Avocadoes also supply our bodies with “good” fat. Not a fan of the fruit’s texture or eating it plain? Turn it into a milkshake or mix it in some milk and sugar. Avocadoes contain the same fat found in olive oil. The healthy fat found in avocadoes keep our cell membranes flexible and lowers our risks of high blood pressure.
One serving of these foods can be the difference between a healthy brain and weak mind.
The Worst Bits for our Wits
Saturated and trans fat will always belong to the list of culprits when it comes to unhealthy food. Every once in awhile, treat your taste buds, but avoid eating these on a regular basis. Cut down on consumption of fatty acids and reserve them to once-a-week treats instead.
Remember: what you eat affects how you think.
1.) Microwavable Buttery Popcorn
Movie nights at home are sometimes better off without the bowl of microwaved popcorn. That’s because these are abundant in trans fats, which contribute to cases of high cholesterol, obesity, and blood vessel damages that are connected to the brain.
It also contains diacetyl, a chemical that is said to damage the cell layers that protect our brain. Pop your own kernels instead. After all, food tastes much better when you know you’ve (kind of) worked hard for it.
(Almost) everyone loves cheese. Now if cheese is bad for us, how else are we going to devour our daily dose of dairy? Generally, cheese is nutritious. But it also depends on the kind you eat and how much of it you consume.
Most of the cheese sold in the market are processed and have lots of saturated fats. Some even have unusual amounts of salt, calories, animal enzymes, and mold. It takes twice as much effort to burn off the cheesy calories.
There’s no doubt that sugar is bad for our bodies and waistlines. Sure, the sudden energy boost and “sugar rush” feels good while it lasts. An abnormal serving of sugar is as damaging as stress and immediately weakens our cognitive senses. Not great if you want a healthy brain.
We’ve all been warned by our parents and elders, so why do we keep getting drunk and consuming alcohol as early as our teen years?
We’re all too familiar with the negative effects of alcoholism such as blurred vision, slurred speech, and impaired memory. Change your habits before you turn into a chronic drinker. Not only does it ruin your concentration and health, it could also ruin your relationships.
This is usually the NUMBER ONE item on our comfort food list. Instead of junk food, replace it with healthier options like vegetables, fruits, sandwiches, or homemade cookies. We know it’s bad for us, but why do we keep eating it? How do we satiate the craving for chips when it’s just, oh so yummy?
A Junk Food Science article advises us that the next time we go grocery-shopping, we should follow the 5-ingredient rule:
“If something has more than 5 ingredients in it, don’t buy it. Odds are, it has been designed to fool you into eating more of it. Avoid those products and stick with the more natural options.”
6.) Ice Cream
We’re not including this on the list just because of the brain freeze it gives us. As summer approaches fast, ice cream will definitely be one of everyone’s cravings. There’s nothing wrong with getting that Coldstone fix every once in a while as a relief from the sweltering heat.
A report done by the Telegraph reveals that ice cream can leave people feeling addicted in the same way as a person who is using illegal drugs. Think twice before carrying that gallon to the checkout counter. Swap it for some Greek yogurt instead.
7.) White rice
Surprised? Grains and wheat are generally good for a healthy brain. Although this is a staple, especially among many cultures, too much of it isn’t recommended. Mix up your rice varieties; try out brown and red rice, too. Foods with high glycemic index abruptly raise sugar levels and increases risk of depression.
Being a picky eater should be something you leave behind. You can’t live on fried food all your life. Keep in mind that too much of anything is a bad thing.
Healthiness is not just about putting in an X amount of hours into exercise and getting enough sleep. It is also about eating the right food, continuously. NOT just when we feel like it. Health should be a major priority and overall goal – a balance between mind and body.
Doesn’t it feel good when you’re strong mentally AND physically?