Once upon a time, people looked at proper nutrition as a pathway to weight loss. And while it is a key component of that, today people want more from their food — and rightfully so! The good news is healthy whole foods are happy to oblige! Or at least it would appear they do because there are so many incredible benefits of eating whole foods for mind and body. In fact, there are many foods that are even credited for increasing brain power! Koibito Poke takes a look at the foods that can improve the brain — and the research behind them.
The Harvard Medical School website notes that while there is no single “almighty brain food” that can ensure a sharp brain as people age, following a healthy dietary pattern “that includes a lot of fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains” is the most important strategy.
The article also suggests that people get protein from plant sources and fish and select healthy fats like olive oil over saturated fats. Further, brain boosting foods can also protect the heart and blood vessels, so eating nutritiously is an overall win-win. Some examples for these types of foods that should be enjoyed include:
Fatty fish such as salmon, cod, canned light tuna and pollack, which are low in mercury yet abundant in omega-3 fatty acids, “healthy unsaturated fats that have been linked to lower blood levels of beta-amyloid — the protein that forms damaging clumps in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease” — are great choices. Non-fishy sources of omega-3s include avocados, walnuts and flaxseeds.
Speaking of walnuts… they have been linked to improved memory. According to the Harvard article, “A 2015 study from UCLA linked higher walnut consumption to improved cognitive test scores.” This is believed to be thanks to their high content of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), a type of omega-3 fatty acid which, among other omega-3 fatty acids “have been linked to lower blood pressure and cleaner arteries.” Which is good not only for the brain, but the heart as well.
Most people know that veggies are a crucial part of a nutritious lifestyle and leafy greens in particular are rich in “brain-healthy” nutrients like vitamin K, lutein, folate and beta carotene. Leafy greens may help slow cognitive decline.
In an article on CNN.com, Harvard Nutritionist, Psychiatrist and Brain Health Researcher Dr. Uma Naidoo also shares some less common (and delightfully surprising) brain boosting foods that can help “improve your mood, sharpen memory, and help your brain work at peak efficiency. Nuts and avocados were among her list but she also spices such as turmeric and saffron; fermented foods like plain yogurt with active cultures, sauerkraut, kimchi and kombucha; and dark chocolate (yippee!).
Koibito Poke encourages people to eat wholly for their overall wellbeing — and their brains! The menu at Koibito Poke has plenty of these options included in their fresh list of ingredients available when customizing a delicious poke bowl.