Diet is one of the most influential components to maintaining proper brain health as we age, and to help maintain memory and cognitive function, it is important to take brain health nutrients to fight aging. Protect your brain by consuming these healthy nutrients.
Magnesium decline in the body is believed to play an important role in cognitive decline, memory loss and early onset dementia. Taking supplemental magnesium and eating magnesium rich foods will help magnesium related cognitive decline. Magnesium rich foods includes: chard, spinach, pumpkin seeds, yogurt, almonds, black beans, avocados, figs, dark chocolate and bananas.
Fish rich in Omega-3s are great for heart health but also help maintain cognitive skills. One study provided mice Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids which showed cognitive improvement as they aged showing better object recognition memory, spatial and localized memory, and aversive response retention. Great fish options include: Salmon, Mackerel and Tuna.
A 2014 study of the impact of high cocoa flavanol foods reported enhanced DG function (Dentate Gyrus) after three months of consumption. Dentate Gyrus is a part of the hippocampal formation in the brain often associated with cognitive aging and linked to memory. The flavanols are found naturally in cocoa and more present in rich dark chocolate than milk chocolate.
Fruits, whole grains and vegetables have been identified by the National Institute on Aging as beneficial in delaying cognitive decline and other chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Dark green, leafy, cruciferous vegetables like spinach and broccoli were found to help the most. The Mediterranean diet was also shown to be a better diet for maintaining cognitive ability v. a western diet. Staples of the Mediterranean diet include: vegetables, beans, fish, olive oil, some alcohol and small amounts of dairy, meat, and saturated fats.
Bottom line . . . drink more green tea because it has so many health benefits. A study at the University of Basel found green tea to enhance memory and thinking. Those in the study performed better on memory tasks and tests and an MRI identified improved connectivity from the brain’s frontal cortex and parietal. This study showed that consuming green tea improved the brain’s immediate synaptic plasticity.
Nuts are similar to fish in being rich in Omaga-3s. Walnuts have shown to be the most effective in this area. Another research study showed a diet fortified with walnuts, Vitamin E, folate, antioxidants and melatonin helped adults improve performance across a number of cognitive tests.
Blueberries have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and memory boosting properties. Blueberries contain anthocyanins which help increase neuron signal in memory. Participants in a study on blueberry juice saw improved word list memory, improved pairing and matching skills and also saw lowered rates of glucose and depression.
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