Exercise is excellent for the body, especially the heart. Few people stop to think about the importance of diet when it comes to brain health. Many studies have found that a healthy mind requires a healthy diet. Here are what the studies show and what foods you should eat if you want to take care of your brain for optimal mental health as a family caregiver.
What Studies Find About the Healthy Diet, Healthy Brain Connection
One of the best studies started in the 1970s. More than 120,000 nurses participated in this study that lasted until 2001. Beginning in 1995, the nurses who’d reached 70 were questioned every four years regarding their eating habits. The nurses who regularly ingested blueberries and strawberries slowed their memory decline.
Over 500 people participated in a Scottish study. These men and women did not have dementia, and some were following the Mediterranean diet. Those on the Mediterranean diet had better cognitive function and speech skills than those on other diets.
Three dozen adults over the age of 60 were studied from 2015 to 2018. This study looked at the benefits of the antioxidants in black, green, and oolong teas. Those who drank tea four or more times a week showed better brain connections on an MRI than those who didn’t.
Foods You Should Be Eating
Serotonin is produced in the gastrointestinal tract. It takes the good bacteria that live in your gut to help with the production of these neurotransmitters that help with mood and emotions. The foods you eat help maintain good bacteria.
Fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as mackerel and tuna, are good for the brain. If you don’t like fish, you’ll also find seeds like flax and hemp seeds are beneficial.
Berries are excellent sources of antioxidants that help with cell health. Blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries are great choices to keep on hand. Buy them frozen to add to smoothies, overnight oats, and yogurt.
Vitamin E helps the brain cells stay healthy. It can lower the risk of clogged arteries and help protect the cells from free radicals. Find it in peanuts, avocados, red bell peppers, and asparagus. Grains like barley and brown rice also have vitamin E.
Never Forget to Take Days Off
There’s one more thing you must do to make sure you help with brain health. Don’t overwork yourself. To stay healthy, you need to take breaks when you need them.
You worry about leaving your parents alone, so you never take a day off. Don’t leave them alone. Instead, you should hire home care services aides for respite care. Call our home care services specialist to learn more about respite care services to learn more about prices and services available in your region.