It’s an unfortunate fact: the brain, like anything else, changes with age. This may help explain why you have multiple problems multitasking or sometimes forgetting where you put your keys as you get older. While some behaviors, such as not getting enough sleep, can increase the risk of cognitive decline – others can support brain health. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), some lifestyle changes can prevent or delay up to 40% of cases of dementia. Among those changes is eating healthy snacks. According to nutritionists, The combination of blueberries and walnuts provides just the powerful combination of nutrients you need to keep your brain sharp.
“The best snack for brain health would be a vegetarian meal — low in saturated fat and rich in micronutrients,” says Rebecca Schilling, RD, founder of the organization “Delivered Nutritionists”. “Berries are rich in antioxidants and keep the brain safe from free radicals. Nuts provide vitamin E and omega-3 fatty acids, which are also linked to improved cognitive function.”
Benefits of blueberries for your brain
Kitty Pruhair, RDBlueberries, in particular, may help improve memory and executive function, says creator of the Eating Habits Lab and nutrition consultant for the Wild Blueberry Society of North America. According to Broihier, wild blueberries contain 33% more anthocyanins, a specific type of antioxidant, than regular cultivated blueberries.
“Studies have indicated benefits in verbal performance, memory discrimination, and a trend toward reduced risk of cognitive decline in people who have eaten blueberries,” she explains.
A 2019 Review in Advances in Nutrition He found that eating more blueberries was associated with slower rates of cognitive decline in older adults.
How walnuts can keep your brain sharp
As for nuts, a 2014 study was conducted in Journal of Nutrition, Health and Aging It found that older women who ate five or more servings of nuts per week had greater brainpower than women two years younger than him. Other research has shown that eating it regularly may reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, among many other cognitive perks.
Walnuts, specifically, say walnuts are an excellent choice when it comes to protecting your brain Samantha Cassetti, MS, RDco-author of sugar shock. There is evidence that eating walnuts may improve performance on cognitive function tests of memory, concentration, and speed of information processing in adults.
“Both inflammation and oxidative stress play a role in brain aging, and the omega-3 and antioxidants in walnuts protect against these effects,” Cassetti explains.
Study 2020 in Journal of Aging Research She discovered that women who ate at least two servings of walnuts per week during their late 50s and early 60s were more likely to age healthily — including no memory impairment — compared to those who didn’t eat nuts.
“Roasted walnuts are my go-to snack because they taste amazing on their own, but they also pair well with other brain-sharpening foods,” Cassetti says.
Ways to eat berries and walnuts for brain health
Mix fresh or dried blueberries with walnuts for a simple blend you can enjoy on the go, toss it into a smoothie, or sprinkle it on yogurt, oatmeal, and chia pudding. However you choose to eat these nutrient-packed superfoods, rest assured your brain will thank you.
Rebecca Strong is a freelance writer working on health/wellness, lifestyle, and travel. Read more
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