22 Jun 5 Ways to Boost Brain Health
This post was sponsored by CocoaViaTM. All opinions are my own.
Many folks are concerned more than ever about brain health. According to Consumer Reports, 34% of Americans say they’ve noticed signs of forgetfulness significant enough to worry about them. In addition, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in nine adults report experiencing subjective cognitive decline (e.g., confusion, memory loss). With Brain Health Month upon us, below you’ll find 5 recommendations to help build a brain health routine.
#1: Plan breakfast daily: A healthy brain starts with a healthy body and to do so, you need to start your day with a healthy breakfast. The first meal you have during the day (AKA breakfast) is certainly an important one, especially with the hustle and bustle that goes on every day. Pre-planning your breakfast and having the ingredients ready help keep you on track with a nutritious start to your day. Below are 3 healthy breakfast options to try:
- Egg Muffins with Spinach and Feta: These egg muffins are perfect to meal prep over the weekend. You can heat and eat them in 30 seconds. I love topping mine with salsa!
- Strawberry Mint Overnight Oats: Oats provide beta-glucans, a type of soluble fiber, that helps maintain steady glucose levels, which are important for the brain to function at its best.
- Strawberry-Kiwi Yogurt Parfaits: Another easy recipe you can meal prep over the weekend. They’re perfect to grab and go during your busy morning.
#2: Incorporate fatty fish into your diet: Fatty fish including salmon, trout, albacore tuna, herring, and sardines are high in omega-3 fatty acids, a major building block of the brain. Omega-3 fats can help sharpen memory, improve mood, and keep cognitive performance at its best. Some of my favorite omega-3 fish recipes include Sheet Pan Chili-Lime Salmon and Tuna Nicoise Salad.
#3: Include turmeric in your healthy diet: Research has shown that curcumin, a polyphenol found in turmeric, is associated with better cognitive performance. One published cross-sectional study of older individuals found that participants who ‘occasionally’ and ‘often or very often’ consumed curry (which contains turmeric) had high scores on a mental exam compared to individuals who ‘never or rarely’ consumed curry. Turmeric is a beautiful yellow spice that I love adding to this Pineapple Turmeric Smoothie and using in my Cauliflower-Turmeric Soup.
#4: Make cocoa flavanols part of your healthy diet: Backed by over 20 years of research, dietary supplement CocoaVia™ Memory+ contains 750mg of cocoa flavanols and is proven to improve memory and brain function in as little as 8 weeks. It can help improve 3 types of memory including word recall (+31%), spatial memory (+24%) and long-term memory (+14%). As flavanol levels can vary greatly and are not labelled in cocoa-based foods, a daily cocoa flavanol supplement, like CocoaVia™ Memory+ is an easy way to incorporate cocoa flavanols into your diet.
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#5: Get your exercise: A 2021 published study found that aerobic exercise can help improve cerebrovascular function and cognition. Aerobic exercise is defined as exercise done “with oxygen,” which means that breathing controls the amount of oxygen that makes it to the muscles to help them burn fuel and get you moving. Examples of aerobic exercise include swimming, biking, walking, rowing, tennis, running, and jumping rope. The American Heart Association recommends at least 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise 5 to 7 days a week.
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