March is National Nutrition Month and the perfect time to renew any New Year’s resolutions that may have fallen by the wayside. Staying active and eating nutritious foods provides a host of benefits, and there are even nutrients that are proving to boost particular aspects of your health. Check out a few of these brain-, bone- and heart-boosting superfoods below!
Foods that can benefit your brain include foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, sardines, herring, walnuts and tofu. Vitamin E can also help keep the brain healthy. Foods with vitamin E include almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts, pine nuts, sunflower seeds, avocados, turnip greens and fortified cereals. In addition, blueberries contain healthy flavonoids, tomatoes are high in healthy lycopene, and broccoli has vitamin K – all nutrients that may have a positive impact on cognitive function.
As you’ve been told since you were a child to “drink your milk,” calcium is important to bone health, and vitamin D helps you absorb that calcium. A large part of Vitamin D comes from sunlight, but you can also boost your vitamin D and calcium intake with dairy products such as milk, yogurt and cheese; fish, including sardines, salmon and tuna; veggies like spinach, collard greens, turnip greens, and kale.
Foods that benefit cardiovascular health include a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, such as blueberries, oranges, carrots, tomatoes, spinach and broccoli; whole grains, including oatmeal and brown rice; fish, such as salmon and tuna; nuts like almonds and walnuts; beans and legumes ; plus tea, dark chocolate and red wine in moderation.
Visit the links throughout the blog to learn more about additional foods that benefit brain, bone and heart health.
Try this 18 minute Salmon With Fresh Ginger Glaze recipe by Anne Byrn from AARP. Salmon is one food that benefits all three of these categories.
- 1 salmon fillet (about 1½ pounds)
- 1/3 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
- 1/3 cup honey
- 2 tablespoons grated peeled fresh ginger
- 2 medium-size cloves garlic, crushed in a garlic press
1. Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 400°F.
2. Place the salmon in a 13 by 9-inch glass or ceramic baking dish and set it aside.
3. Place the soy sauce, honey, ginger, add garlic in a small mixing bowl and stir to combine.
4. Pour the soy sauce mixture over the salmon, lifting it up with a fork so that the marinade can run underneath and coat the salmon well. If you have the time, cover the baking dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate it for up to 2 hours. Or set the salmon aside while the oven preheats.
5. Uncover the salmon and bake it until the soy sauce mixture forms a glaze and the fish flakes around the edges, about 18 minutes. (If the fillet is thicker in the center than at the edges, the center will cook less quickly; add a few minutes more baking time if needed. If you cut the salmon into pieces, the edges will be less likely to overcook.)
6. Remove the pieces of salmon from the oven as they are done.
Remember to choose nutrient-rich foods and maintain an active lifestyle to help you lead a long and healthy life! It’s important for you to speak with your doctor about what dietary modifications are best for you.
Brain-Boosting Foods Help You Stay Sharp – AARP.org
11 Foods for Healthy Bones – Health.com
Our Top 15 Heart-Healthy Foods – EatingWell.com