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Give your brain a boost with food

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — May is Mental Health Awareness Month and there are plenty of ways you can give your brain a boost — exercise, socializing, getting enough sleep…and food!

Kaitlyn Wong, registered dietician with Community Health Network, says there are five foods that can help boost your brain health:

  • Berries
  • Fatty fish
  • Green veggies
  • Tea and coffee
  • Walnuts

Berries are full of antioxidants and flavonoids, while lots of leafy greens like spinach and collards are chock-full of vitamin K and lutein– nutrients that will help protect your brain health, according to Wong.

“Something that I like to do is get a big box of spinach at the beginning of the week and just say it has to be done by the end of the week,” Wong said. “Whether that’s like, you add a few handfuls with dinner as a side salad or lunch, just make it a habit of every single day you’re getting in some sort of green.”

Wong says eating the omega-3 in fatty fish like salmon and tuna can help protect against Alzheimer’s disease.

“Omega-3 specifically, if we think of Alzheimer’s, think of proteins kind of like clumping up in the brain. That’s what we’re seeing in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease. So omega-3 and fatty fish helps to dissolve kind of those clumps. You want to have a fatty fish about twice a week in a four ounce serving.”

Walnuts, cashews, and almonds make great brain-boosting snacks, according to Wong, and coffee is something you probably have on hand that can wake up those brainwaves.

“Coffee, tea, anything with caffeine…we know it is going to give you that brain boost in the short-term. You want to look for about 300 milligrams or less. More than that and you’re going to get those jitters and anxiety and it kind of has the opposite effect.”

For more information, visit the Community Health website.