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.