Did you know that eating certain foods (and avoiding others) has been shown to slow brain aging by 7.5 years, and lessen the chances of developing Alzheimer’s disease?
Or that a 20-year study of over 16,000 older adults found that those who ate the most blueberries and strawberries had the slowest rates of cognitive decline?
Decades of research have shown that good diet choices (as opposed to dieting) can keep you brain healthier for longer, improve cognitive function, expand memory, and even prevent diseases like dementia and Alzheimer’s.
- Nuts contain lots of vitamin E, known to be great for brain health. Vitamin E is an anti-oxidant that protects brain cells from damage.
- Whole grains also contain brain-cell-protecting Vitamin E.
- Berries contain high levels of flavonoids which protect those all-important neurons from damage and inflammation.
- Vegetables, and especially those big leafy greens, have been shown to reduce the risk of dementia and cognitive decline. They include vitamin K, great for protecting brain cells.
- Olive oil contains hydroxytyrosol (HT) and oleic acid, which also protect brain cells and cognitive decline.
- Beans and eggs contain Vitamin B, which is also great for brain health. Vitamin B boosts the production of neurotransmitters, essential for brain growth, function, and health.
- Fish is better than meat. Fish contains Omega-3 fatty acids which also protect brain and other cells.
- Wine can help reduce cognitive decline, and especially dementia. The resveratrol in red wine helps limit stress and damage to DNA cells in the brain, which would otherwise result in aging and disease. Not to mention the social engagement benefits to the brain (hint: better to drink moderately and in company).
- Coffee has antioxidants that have been shown to reduce the risks of cognitive decline, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease. It also increases brain entropy which can improve the brain’s ability to process information.
Rust on the handlebars of a bike or a partially eaten apple gives you an idea of the kind of damage oxidation can cause to your brain. Food rich in antioxidants can help fend off the harmful effects of oxidation in your brain.
The Cleveland Clinic
“Nutritional psychiatry: Your brain on food” from Harvard Health Publishing.
“Fitness 4Mind4Body: Diet And Nutrition” from Mental Health America.