The old saying “you are what you eat” proves true when it comes to your brain. Research shows certain foods that reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and stroke appear to protect brain cells, too.

Try these foods for a brain boost:

Baked or grilled halibut, mackerel, salmon, trout, or tuna provide a meal packed with omega-3 fatty acids, which research shows helps reduce inflammation. Omega-3’s also appear to enhance the connections within the brain improving memory and learning.

Dark-skinned fruits and vegetables such as spinach, broccoli,blueberries, and raspberries are rich in vitamin E, which may reduce inflammation and help slow cognitive decline associated with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.

Almonds and walnuts are also high in omega-3’s. Walnuts have been found to improve mood and reduce inflammation that can lead to brain cell death. They also replace melatonin, an antioxidant that may help reduce cell damage.

Hold the salt. New evidence suggests decreasing the salt in your diet can improve blood flow to the brain and decrease dementia.

Bananas, beans, chicken breasts, lean beef, and shellfish are good sources of vitamins B-6 and B-12. The B vitamins play a critical role in the production of neurotransmitters, the cells the brain uses to send and receive messages.

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