When cognitive decline happens things like forgetting where you put your house keys, don’t remember what you wanted to do, forgetting to pay your bills, walking into rooms, and do not know why you are there when start to happen time and time again, theses are the early warning signs of cognitive decline.
Seniors can experience a mild level of impairment, their cognitive decline does not mean that they have dementia or Alzheimer’s, it’s just part of the aging process. Here at Loving Assisted Living, we are here to give you the best advice on what is the best food for a senior’s brain.
According to a CDC survey on seniors that were doing self-reported cognitive impairment, 12.7% of seniors aged 60 and older reported memory loss or confusion, and 35.2% reported functional difficulties during the previous 12 months.
7 Best Brain Foods For Seniors
Eating healthy foods will not completely prevent cognitive decline and slow the 7 stages of dementia, it can help to reduce it by feeding the brain with the best brain food for seniors.
Foods with Vitamin B and B12 are important to help the brain function, especially as we age. Salmon (wild or responsibly farmed), and leafy greens are a great sources to get the vitamin Bs that you need.
Eating frozen or fresh berries also have plenty of great nutrients. Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables will also help with increasing the antioxidants and the phytochemical intake.
You need to boost your brain with powerful and healthy proteins and also with foods with antioxidants. The foods that are good for your brain have plenty of healthy fats, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals in them.
Eating foods like fatty fish, eggs, nuts, seeds, tempeh, and tofu are great for brain function, they create neurotransmitters that we need for healthy brain function.
Eat Healthy Fats and Promote Cognitive Function
The brain needs fat to function properly, our brains are composed of 60% fat, and over half of that is omega 3s. Denying your brain the fact that it needs, is detrimental to its health.
Omega 3s is the best thing for our brains, so it is suggested it is best to consume foods that are rich in omega 3s, and salmon is on top of that list of best brain foods, but sardines and mackerel are also great choices.
It is also important to eat foods that are rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatories, foods such as broccoli, dark chocolate, turmeric, blueberries, seeds, nuts, and green tea will also help to feed your brain.
Eating pasture-raised eggs that are rich in Choline and Vitamin B is also essential for brain function, it’s important to feed the brain what it needs.
Best Mind Diet Will Reduce Cognitive Decline
With a great mind diet, you can reduce the risk of dementia and cognitive decline. A good mind diet can help to reduce the risk of getting Alzheimer’s and dementia. The best brain diets will include leafy green vegetables, berries, olive oil, nuts, whole grains, fish, beans, and poultry.
It is best to eat blueberries, wild salmon, and walnuts to improve your brain’s health. Blueberries are filled with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory, which will reduce the oxidative stress that will affect brain function.
Wild salmon is a fantastic source of omega 3 fatty acids and DHA, it is important to increase the brain’s levels of DHA, as it can reduce the risks of Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Walnuts are a great source of plant-based protein, walnuts are also a great way to get more omega-3 fatty acids, they can help to improve cognition.
Eating Oily Fish
To get the omega 3s that the brain needs, it is important to choose to eat oily fish, such as Salmon, Tuna, Sardines, and herring, these fish will help you to feed your brain.
Walnuts, chia seeds, and flax seeds have ALA, Alpha Lipoic Acid. Avocados are another source of healthy brain fats. Other than fat, foods that contain antioxidants like berries and dark chocolate also benefit the brain.
Eating the right food for our brains is the best way to keep the brain fit, it is not the fountain of youth, but eating the right food for your brain will help your brain stay fit.
Balanced Diet For Seniors
Having a balanced diet and eating the right variety of foods will help you to keep your aging brain fit and healthy and it can slow the progression of dementia. Eating dark green vegetables, like spinach, kale, and broccoli can help with cognitive function.
Eating dark fruits like blueberries, strawberries, cherries, plums, and cherries is a great way to get the antioxidants that will help to protect the brain from oxidative damage.
It is important to have a diet that is rich in the essential fatty acids, as our bodies can not produce them, we need to include them in our diets, this will be helpful before a senior will need memory care, this is important to feed the brain the food that it needs.
Best Brain Boosting Foods For Seniors
Foods Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids:
- Omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA are vital for normal brain function and development throughout all stages of life. Low levels of DHA in the blood have been associated with smaller brain size and learning and memory deficits in older adults, a sign of accelerated brain aging.
- EPA & DHA have also been shown to have a positive effect on depression and mood.
- People with a mild decline in brain function or depression might consider taking 1,000–2,000 mg of omega-3s from fish oil or algae oil daily. Talk to your doctor or registered dietitian before taking them to avoid issues.
- Fatty fish is rich in omega-3 fats from the algae they eat in the ocean.
- Best Sources: fatty fish including salmon, trout, and sardines
- Plant-based options: chia seeds, ground flaxseed, flaxseed oil, algal oil, and walnuts
- Your morning cup of coffee will not only help get you going, but it can also actually help to protect your brain.
- Coffee contains both caffeine and antioxidants.
- Caffeine helps to increase alertness, improve mood, and sharpen concentration, and the antioxidants protect the brain from oxidative stress & inflammation.
- This protection of the brain can help delay brain aging and neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s Disease.
- Berries1. Deep-colored berries like blueberries contain the antioxidant anthocyanins, a group of plant compounds with anti-inflammatory effects.
- Certain antioxidants in blueberries, such as vitamin C, have been found in the brain and help improve communication between brain cells.
- Some studies have shown that blueberries may help improve memory and may even delay short-term memory loss.
- Turmeric is a deep yellow spice often used in Southeast Asian, Indian, and Middle Eastern cuisine. It’s also the main ingredient in curry powder. The active ingredient in turmeric is called curcumin, which can improve memory in people with Alzheimer’s, growth of new brain cells, improved mood, and depression.
- It can help clear the amyloid plaques that are associated with Alzheimer’s disease.
- Curcumin requires a compound in black pepper to be absorbed in the body.
- Pumpkin Seeds
- These powerful seeds are high in brain-protecting antioxidants and the essential nutrients iron, copper, zinc, and magnesium.
- These 4 minerals help with the control of nerve signaling, learning, memory, and brain function. When low or deficient in the diet, studies show there’s an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s, and depression.
- Dark Chocolate
- Dark chocolate and cocoa powder are packed with antioxidants called flavonoids — brain-boosting compounds to help with slowing age-related mental decline and enhancing memory.
- Chocolate has also been shown to boost mood and increase positive feelings.
- It’s also a good source of magnesium, fiber, iron, copper, manganese, and caffeine.
- Choose dark chocolate that’s at least 70% cocoa with less than 5g of added sugar.
- Nuts contain a variety of nutrients, including the antioxidant vitamin E, which has been linked with brain health and slowing mental decline.
- Nuts are a good source of protein, fiber, iron, and unsaturated fats, linked with cardiovascular health.
- Things that are good for the heart are also good for the brain.
- Gut-Healthy Probiotics
- What is good for the gut is good for the heart and the brain.
- The gut is your digestive tract starting with your mouth, stomach, and intestines, and all the way to your anus. It’s full of billions of bacteria, fungi, and yeast known as the gut microbiome, that help to regulate digestion, your immune system, and overall health.
- Research shows that the health of your gut can, directly and indirectly, affect brain function. After all, 95% of the feel-good neurotransmitter serotonin is made in the gut, and 70% of the body’s immune function is found in the gut!
- Probiotics are the healthy bacteria found in foods like fermented sauerkraut, kimchi, yogurt, kefir, and miso.
- Fiber from fruits, vegetables, and whole grains feeds these probiotics, allowing them to flourish and “eat” the bad bacteria to prevent disease and inflammation in the gut.
- Things like excess antibiotics, infections, chemotherapy, long-term use of antacids, and other medications can affect the health of your gut by killing off both the good and the bad bacteria, leading to an unbalanced microbiome.
Conclusion For Senior Brain Food
There is an AARP article, that stresses how important it is to get the main nutrients through vitamin supplements doesn’t provide the same result as getting those nutrients through healthy eating.
To improve your cognitive health, it is important to choose foods that are high in antioxidants, rich in Omega 3 fats, or high in B vitamins, and by eating a variety of healthy foods from all food groups to help to feed your brain the nutrition that you need. Eating the right foods can lower the risk of cognitive decline and improve your overall health.