Tips to help your mind and body

Here are some healthy foods to nour­ish your brain and body.

Healthy fats are used for en­ergy and healthy brain func­tion. They line the walls of the cells, al­low­ing pas­sage of nu­tri­ents through the cell walls. Ex­amples in­clude ve­get­able oils; avo­ca­dos; fatty fish such as sal­mon, tuna, mack­er­el, her­ring, trout and sardines; nuts; olives; sun­flower, ses­ame, pump­kin and flax seeds; and soymilk and tofu.

In the purest (non-pro­cessed) forms, lean pro­teins are used for muscle strength and brain func­tion. They are used in every chem­ic­al re­ac­tion in the body, cre­at­ing en­ergy, heal­ing, des­troy­ing bad cells, send­ing brain sig­nals, etc. Ex­amples in­clude chick­en, tur­key or fish; low-fat yogurt, skim/1-per­cent milk, low-fat cheese and small por­tions of high-fat cheese; legumes; and nuts, seeds and soy.

High-fiber and whole-grain starches con­trib­ute to in­creased brain func­tion/fuel and help pro­duce en­ergy. The brain can only use gluc­ose as en­ergy. If it has none, it starts to turn muscle and fat in­to gluc­ose, so there is a need for gluc­ose/carbs. Ex­amples in­clude grains with less than five grams of fiber per serving; non-pro­cessed grains; and whole-grain products. ••

Jac­queline Wo­j­ciechow­ski is a re­gistered di­eti­tian nu­tri­tion­ist and a board-cer­ti­fied spe­cial­ist in ge­ron­to­lo­gic­al nu­tri­tion at Wes­ley En­hanced Liv­ing Pennypack Park.

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