Boost your brain with the Mediterranean diet

Boost your brain with the Mediterranean diet
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Frida Harju is the in-house nutritionist at leading health and fitness app, Lifesum

"A recent study has shown that people following a Mediterranean-like diet slows ageing of brain and reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. The Mediterranean diet is very rich in fruits, whole grains, legumes, vegetables and healthy oils."

Here are her top tips for giving it a try:

Olive Oil

Instead of using butter or margarine, replace them with the healthy, monounsaturated fats in olive oil when you cook and bake. Olive oils with a dash of balsamic vinegar are also perfect for dipping bread in and can be a great starter for when guests come to visit. If you prefer other oils, most plant-based oils are full of the healthy monounsaturated fats and omega-3 acids.

Wild Salmon

Wild salmon is a good source of protein and healthy fat that keeps you full for longer. Calorie-for-calorie salmon packs more nutrients than beef or sausages and you don’t need carb-heavy bread to enjoy it. Try with grilled vegetables for a satisfying but healthy lunch that will fill you up till dinner or add garlic and cayenne pepper for an evening meal with added spice.

Almonds

Almonds are one of my favorite nuts as they are healthy as well as tasty. To get all its nutrition, eat them with the skin on. As most of the healthy nuts it is high in in monounsaturated fats, which better the heart health. 
The phosphorus that you can find in this nut helps to build strong bones and teeth, and almonds are one of the richest sources of Vitamin E, which improves your skin and can also reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease.
Actually, almonds are the only nut and one of the few proteins that are alkaline forming. An alkalized body has better immune function and energy.

Eggs

Eggs have a High Satisfy Index and it is a good way to start your day, as it will keep you filled for longer. Being a filling meal plus the fact that it is low in fat, particularly if you only use egg whites, could help with weight loss.
Eggs are packed with vitamins B2, B12, A and E which are useful to keep a healthy skin, hair and nails. Medical News Today has suggested that lutein, found in the yolk of eggs can help improve the hydration and elasticity of skin. In addition, the egg yolks are a good source of iron that could help to decrease fatigue and headaches.
It is good for both an eye and brain health. Just like green vegetables such as broccoli and spinach, eggs contain a specific antioxidant that is vital for keeping your eyes healthy and can help to improve the health of the lens. Choline is another nutrient that we find in eggs and which is important for the brain development and function.

Spinach

Spinach, like tomatoes, contains antioxidants that combat free radicals. When tested on rats, researchers at the University of South Florida found that spinach improved both memory and learning skills. The high potassium levels found in spinach increases the speed of signals between neurons, helping our brains to be more responsive. In recent years, spinach has become a fashionable superfood so it is often included in restaurants’ menus but the easiest way to consume spinach is to add raw leaves to a salad or eat boiled spinach with scrambled eggs for a nutritious breakfast.  

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