WNA Blog

Fri 29 Apr 2022

Food Combinations Linked to Brain Health

Health & Wellbeing

It’s well known that a varied diet rich in nuts, leafy vegetables, seafood and other nutrient-dense foods is fantastic for our overall health. But now science has taken things a step further. Turns out that when it comes to brain health, it’s not just what we eat, but what we eat it with that comes into play.

A recent study investigating dementia found that the combination of foods we eat may be linked to brain health outcomes. Researchers studying the interconnectedness of foods found certain food networks may actually help protect your brain as it ages. Study participants who consumed a lot of highly-processed meats, starchy foods and sugary snacks (think deli meats, salami, starchy potatoes, alcohol, and packaged treats like cookies and cakes), recorded higher diagnosis rates of dementia later in life.

This finding has highlighted not only the importance of eating a diet full of healthy, fresh foods, but also the need to both limit intake and also pair those ‘sometimes foods’ with the healthier, fresh options.

Leanne and Fitness Tips Say:

Nutrition is a key, modifiable risk factor when it comes to our brain health and there’s plenty we can do to maintain optimal cognitive function as we age. When it comes to diet, keep these things in mind:

● Variety is the spice of life – emphasise eating a range of fresh wholefoods daily
● Boost iron intake to improve thinking, memory and energy – iron absorption can be improved by combining dark leafy greens with berries high in vitamin C
● Increase fish intake to aid in omega-3 consumption to build brain and nerve cells – try baked or smoked salmon, sardines on rye with avocado, or a tuna nicoise salad
● Curcumin, the active ingredient in Turmeric, is a potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, helping improve memory, ease depression, and minimise age-related mental decline
● Pumpkin seeds are jam packed full of micronutrients, zinc, copper, iron and magnesium, essential for optimum brain function – try adding them to salads, toasting them with tamari, mix with your breakfast granola or even mix into homemade pesto.

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