You may well have heard the phrase ‘eat yourself beautiful’ by including a range of colourful foods in your diet – but not only can these foods benefit your skin but they can also support your cognitive function. ….
Pink: Support your brain with salmon
Salmon’s content of omega-3 fatty acids already makes it a favourite brain-boosting food. But its pink colour gives it an extra advantage. The colour comes from astaxanthin, a pink-red carotenoid that’s produced by microalgae and works its way up the food chain into salmon. As an antioxidant, astaxanthin may have a protective effect for our brain, and research has found that getting plenty of it could even improve cognitive function as we get older.Sushi and sashimi are great ways to load up on fresh salmon: try itsu’s ‘Omega-3’ box (£5.99, www.itsu.com) for your salmon fix.
Yellow: Feel egg-cellent with egg yolks and sweetcorn
Yellow foods such as egg yolks and sweetcorn are rich in lutein. While lutein is most famous for its eye health benefits, it’s also stored in our brain and is thought to have a protective effect – including for those all-important omega-3 fatty acids that are vital for brain and memory.
Blue: Brain ageing be-gone with blueberries
Research suggests that eating blueberries may be particularly beneficial for our brain, especially supporting brain health into old age. This is thought to be due to the polyphenols that give these brilliant berries their blue colour. In one study it was suggested that blueberry consumption alone might delay brain ageing by up to 2.5 years!
Dark green: Ditch poor brain communication with sea vegetables
Yes, eating your greens is good for your brain! Dark green vegetables such as kale and spinach are good sources of magnesium and calcium. These minerals are vital for transmitting nerve impulses, allowing communication between the brain and the body. And sea vegetables (seaweed) have another advantage: as well as being rich in magnesium, they’re a super source of iodine, which supports cognitive function (memory, learning, reasoning and so on). For a seaweed boost, switch up your lunch and try itsu’s Mixed Sashimi (£9.99, www.itsu.com), which is served on a bed of wakame seaweed – or snack on their Crispy Seaweed Thins (£1.25, www.itsu.com).
Orange: Give your brain some TLC with turmeric
If you’re still in doubt about the unique benefits of brightly coloured foods, then consider turmeric. Research has linked this super spice with countless health benefits, for everything from joints, to skin, to heart to digestion. It’s also been found that turmeric could boost brain health and memory too, including helping to prevent or slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.