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Eat the "Super6" Foods to Be Cognitively Fit

By Sandy Schroeder

We all eat foods that we love that are not terribly healthy, but why not mix in the “Super6” smart foods to sharpen the brain and protect the heart and blood vessels? That’s Harvard Health’s suggestion, and here are the six powerhouses to consider to boost your brain.

They are especially rich in omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants and B vitamins, which are proven to enhance brain fitness and help the heart. Choosing them first could help you think clearly and remember more.

It’s kind of like running on premium all of the time.

Eat a lot of berries - Strawberries, blueberries and raspberries contain flavonoids that strengthen memory. Research shows berries help to slow the effects of memory decline while aging. Fix berry tarts and pies. Serve berries as a snack or topping breakfast cereal.

Choose fatty fish -  Eat them twice a week to fight Alzheimer’s disease. Select fish low in mercury such as canned light tuna, salmon, cod or pollack. Or choose other omega-3 sources such as flaxseed, avocadoes or walnuts. Or take a supplement. Serve grilled cod or salmon dinners, tuna salad lunches. Mix flaxseed into your breakfast oats or smoothies, and add sliced walnuts and avocadoes to your salads.

Leafy greens - Broccoli, spinach, kale and collards are loaded with Vitamin K, folate, beta carotene and lutein to maintain brain health. Try a spinach quiche, a kale salad, collards with bits of ham, or broccoli cheese soup.

Coffee first - We all know the caffeine in our morning cup of coffee helps us concentrate and perform better. Research shows it also enhances memory. Sleep researchers suggest we cut off the coffee early afternoon to sleep better at night. Also, look around; caffeine is really everywhere, in energy drinks, sodas and all sorts of foods.

Tea please – Right behind coffee, tea delivers a caffeine boost with black tea providing the most. Green tea may be the more healthy alternative, supplying less caffeine and a whole bunch of antioxidants. Either way, enjoy an icy glass of tea with lunch or a soothing cup of hot tea for breakfast.

Enjoy walnuts – Most nuts deliver healthy fats and protein, but walnuts star in boosting memory. Researchers showed walnut eaters score higher in memory tests. They provide omega-3 fatty acid to sharpen the brain, strengthen arteries, and lower blood pressure. Toss walnuts into salads, desserts and fresh baked loaves of bread.

Start with the “Super6” and keep right on going to fill your diet with fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, choosing olive oil or canola over saturated fats. Keep looking for great recipes to  make use of the healthiest choices and savor the results.

To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Monrovia, Calif.

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