Want to Start Eating for Better Brain Health? Here's How to Stock Your Pantry, Fridge, and Freezer
Eating well can help build muscle, strengthen bones, and protect the heart. But food also plays a major role in mental wellness. "If you make eating for brain health part of your lifestyle, you'll be well positioned to sharpen your memory, help keep depression at bay, and stave off cognitive decline," says Drew Ramsey, MD, founder of the Brain Food Clinic and author of Eat to Beat Depression and Anxiety. The basics of eating for brain health aren't complicated, he notes. You want more vegetables (especially leafy greens) and fruits (especially berries). You also want to work in seafood, fermented foods, nuts, herbs, and—your old friend—dark chocolate.
Granted, knowing what to eat and actually doing it are two very different things. Happily, small tweaks to your kitchen environment can nudge you toward meaningful changes. These seven strategies will help you build brain-boosting habits and enjoy your time in the kitchen more, which Ramsey says is just as important. "Sure, eating for brain health is about consuming the right foods to feed your brain cells and help prevent inflammation. But it's also about engaging with food and cooking in a joyful way."