The science supporting healthy brain diets is growing every year. Researchers from around the world have provided the scientific community with new data that help explain why a Mediterranean diet is good for brain health. While there is no single ingredient that is sure to boost your mood or keep you sharp well into your old age, the correlation between mental well-being and a diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and olive oil gets stronger every year.
Here are some foods that can help keep your mind sharp
Fish and other foods with high levels of omega-3 fatty acids may fight depression.
Fermented foods such as pickles and sauerkraut may decrease anxiety.
Antioxidant-rich fruits and green tea may prevent dementia.
One of the newest studies in the field of brain health shows why Western diets (typically higher in sugar and fatty meat than a Mediterranean diet) can be bad for the brain. A nutritional psychiatry researcher and team recently discovered that Western diets can literally shrink your brain.
They studied a group of adults and determined through MRI scans that after eating a Western diet for four years they had a significantly smaller left hippocampus, a part of the brain that is essential for memory formation. The subjects also experienced higher levels of mood disorders.
Data showed that the main constituents of a healthy brain diet include fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, fish, lean meats, and healthy fats such as olive oil, which are more related to a Mediterranean diet than a typical Western diet.
Also, a nutritional epidemiologist found that combining the Mediterranean diet with a high-nutrient, low-salt diet designed to help avoid hypertension may delay cognitive decline and prevent Alzheimer's. Their research tested the cognitive ability of nearly 1,000 adults and discovered that those who had followed the combination diet had the same cognitive scores of people who were seven years younger.