How to boost brain power and get healthy overall

The metaphor “You are what you eat” has been proven right time and again. A healthy diet helps to improve overall health and boost brain power.

Consume vegetables every day, a lot of it. Vegetables can be eaten raw, sauteed, nuked, steamed, smoked, or grilled except deep fried. Try to get in 9 – 11 servings each day. One serving of vegetables is is half a cup cooked or 1 cup raw. Most people don’t actually count their servings of vegetables, so just be sure to have vegetables at lunch and dinner daily. If you can throw some in at breakfast and with snacks, that’s’ good too.

Eat 2 – 3 fruits a day. One serving of fruit is 1 piece of fruit, 1 cup of berries, half a grapefruit.

Choose whole grains like whole wheat pasta, brown and wild rices, whole-grain cereals. Whole grains are an excellent source of energy and healthy nutrients. Keep your portion sizes within reasonable limits though. The USDA recommends about 5 – 6 servings a day. One serving is about 1 ounce which is equal to 1 slice of bread, half a cup if cooked pasta, 1 cup of cereal, or 1 6 inch tortilla.

Practically speaking, people always eat more than just half a cup of pasta. So let’s say one cup is more than reasonable. Add on a lot of vegetables, and you now have an awesome healthy meal. Just be aware of how many servings of grain you have in a day as they all add up pretty quickly.

Healthy oils made of olive, canola, peanut, sesame, almond and walnut are generally better than oils made from other sources.

Eat lean healthy sources of protein like low-fat or nonfat dairy, soy, nuts, egg whites and beans.

If you prefer animal foods choose skinless white-meats, poultry or fish. Two 3 to 4 ounce portions a day is generally acceptable.

Nibble on some dark chocolate to satiate those sugar cravings.

Exercise every day. This is a tough one specially for busy millennials. Maybe you could dance, hop, take the stairs, walk briskly for about 30 minutes daily. Every bit of active living is good, including relatively mundane routine things such as washing vessels in the sink, or hanging out wet clothes to dry manually.

Challenge your brain regularly with new skills. You could consider using online tools and games such as Lumosity. It’s a good fun way to keep those engines in your brain running.

Go organic wherever and whenever possible. This may be a bit heavy on your pocket, but the payoff in terms of better health is immense.

Being social actually helps. Talk to friends and interact with your neighbours in the old fashioned way. Join a book club, walk to the local library. Volunteer at your local school or community centre. Studies indicate that a socially integrated lifestyle may protect against dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.