Foods to Keep Your Mind Young

Every brain changes with age, and mental function changes along with it. Mental decline is common, and it’s one of the most feared consequences of aging. But cognitive impairment is not inevitable. The brain is the “motherboard of reality,” said Dr. Joel Salinas, neurologist at Massachusetts General Hospital. “The better we can take care of this organ which is so deeply linked to who we are as a person, to this universe in which we exist, the most fulfilling of a life in which we can live.”Prebiotic and probiotic foods can reduce harmful inflammation in the brain, called neuroinflammation, said Doctor. “First and foremost is keeping the bacteria in your gut happy.”Here are some foods you can help maintain brain function.

Blueberries

“There is exciting preliminary evidence of blueberries for brain health.” said Grodstein. Blueberries have high levels of flavonoids, a compound in food that reduces oxidation in the body. Over time, oxidation can damage cells and contribute to aging. Blueberries help “fight inflammation,” according to Doctors. Berries are also on the list of foods that Salinas recommends for its patients. “Overall, what I tell people who come to see me at the clinic is that you want to eat a diet rich in fish, berries, leafy vegetables and whole grains.”

Nuts, olive oil and other healthy fats

Experts have recommended replacing the saturated fats of red meat with fats from fish, nuts and healthy oils. The best options for your brain include salmon, tuna, nuts, pistachios, almonds, olive oil, and seaweed oil. “There is good evidence that these omega-3 fatty acids help lower LDL, the” bad cholesterol “that increases the risk of stroke or heart attack,” said Dean Hartley, Ph.D., director of scientific initiatives at the Alzheimer’s Association. “With my diet, I try to go more towards the Mediterranean diet, including things like olive oil and salmon.” A word of warning from Dr. Tanzi: fish oil supplements are sometimes contaminated with heavy metals, which can actually kill brain cells. “Fish oil comes from fatty fish, which live in the ocean. Unfortunately, our oceans are now contaminated with heavy metals like mercury, cesium, cadmium and lead,” said Tanzi. “You can play and hope you buy the best fish oil you can, or you can buy a vegan omega-3 supplement that comes from seaweed. And you won’t get heavy metals because they don’t come from fish.”

Soy Foods

Soy protein offers healthy high quality proteins, so somebody trying to adapt a more vegetarian eating patterns, can easily fit soy into their diet. Without that the artery clogging saturated fat. The key is really trying to go for more natural sources of soy foods versus the more processed, higher salts, potentially higher sugar soy snack foods. So think of tofu, soy beans as well as soy milk. Let’s explore that a little bit more. Soy milk, you want to go with either plain soy milk or a lightly flavored one, because we don’t any of the added sugar. And make sure your soy milk has added calcium, we are looking for 30% of the daily value on the food label.

Chocolates

Dark chocolate, the kind that’s 70 percent cocoa or higher, is rich in a group of antioxidants known as flavonoids. Studies have found that these antioxidants may help lower your blood pressure, improve cholesterol and lower your risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes. Some evidence suggests dark chocolate may even boost mood and improve memory. Dark chocolate and nuts are great for you by themselves, but when you mix them together you get the health benefits of both foods. Just make sure that you don’t stuff your face with a pound of chocolate covered nuts. That’s a lot of calories, sugar and fat. A handful will satisfy your sweet tooth while still keeping you healthy.

 

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