Finishing off the bucket of mini Mars bars left over from the trick or treaters last night is not a smart food choice, but a lot of medical studies have confirmed that there are some foods that are great for the brain, and can even help slow the mental aging process that we all go through!
Thanks to their high polyphenol content, berries protect brain cells by fighting free radical damage, reducing inflammation and increasing the clearance of toxic proteins that accumulate with age. Berries like blueberries and acai berries, which have recently been called a “superfood” are full of antioxidants, vitamins, may help shield against harmful processes tied to Alzheimer’s disease and premature brain aging.
Polyphenols in walnuts are thought to protect the brain by fending off free radicals and promoting communication between brain cells and the growth of new brain cells. Like berries, walnuts also activate the brain’s house-cleaning process. Omega 3 fatty acids found in walnuts are especially helpful in brain function.
A study of 3,718 Chicago residents aged 65 and older found that people who ate more than two vegetable servings each day had a 40 per cent slower rate of cognitive decline compared with their peers who ate less than one serving. Leafy green vegetables such as kale, arugula, Swiss chard, collard greens, rapini, romaine lettuce and spinach offered the most protection. (Age-related cognitive decline – the subtle decrease in memory and thinking processes – is considered to be a normal consequence of getting older.)
Scientists attribute their protective effect of leafy greens to vitamin E, an antioxidant that protects brain cells from oxidative damage and inflammation. Getting at least three servings a day of dark, leafy greens high in carotenoids and flavonoids can slow mental decline associated with aging.
Wild Salmon is not only an incredible food for brain health, it qualifies as incredible across virtually every other health standard as well and is clearly one of the healthiest foods that one can eat. Eating oily fish on a weekly basis may also keep your brain healthy as you age. A four-year study of older adults revealed that those who ate fish at least once a week – compared with rarely or never – were 60 per cent less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease. Another study linked regular fish consumption to a 60 per cent lower risk of dementia, in particular Alzheimer’s dementia. Besides salmon, oily fish like trout, sardines, and herring are also great for brain health.
Generally a very common item when you shop, eggs contain several nutrients that are believed to be good for your brain and good for your body too. Eggs contain selenium, which is a powerful anti-oxidant, and boost sbrian health and the immune syatem. Choline is another nutrient found in eggs and it plays a role in helping healthy cell membranes along with its ability to help mental function and memory.