Scientist have put a man on the moon, explored the surface of mars, open heart surgery has become a common procedure. By contrast, how your brain ages still remains a mystery. This is due in part to the fact that until recently the human lifespan was 47 years. Associate professor of psychology David Walsh, Ph.D says that left precious little time to study brain aging. Today the average lifespan is 80 and baby boomers are demanding to know how to preserve their brain function as long as possible.
At one time it was thought that from the moment you were born brain cells started to die, scientist now know that is not true. Until recently brain aging, related memory loss to more serious conditions like Alzheimer’s and dementia was thought be due to the loss of neurons. Research using the advanced technology we have available today has made it really clear that most, if not all, of your neurons remain healthy until the day you die. According to the Alzheimer’s Association a diet that may reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke appears to protect your brain.
Remaining mentally sharp well into your old age may be as simple as keeping your brain active and adding the following foods to your eating regimen.
Dark skinned fruits and vegetables are the highest in naturally occurring antioxidants. Such fruit and vegetables include kale, spinach, Brussels sprouts, beets, red bell pepper, blueberries, blackberries, cherries and oranges.
Eggs provide choline particularly important for brain function. Your body produces some choline but can not synthesize enough to make up for an inadequate supply in your diet. Marl Hyman MD., author of “Six Weeks to an Ultra Mind”, suggest that you start every day with an egg.
Nuts and seeds are good sources of vitamin E; higher levels of vitamin E as you get older appear to reduce your risk of cognitive decline. Add an ounce a day of nuts, seeds, peanut and nut butters to your diet.
Wild Salmon is a rich source of omega 3 fatty acids which are essential to brain function. Other fish that offers the benefits of omega 3 fatty acids are sardines and herring. It is recommended that you have a 4-ounce serving twice a week.
Whole grains reduce your risk of heart disease by improving your blood flow. A good blood flow is important to every organ in your body including your brain. Wheat germ is not technically a grain but is high in vitamin E and a good source of fiber.
Beans stabilize glucose (blood sugar) levels; your brain is depended on a steady stream of glucose for fuel. Since it can not store glucose the beans provide it. Any beanwill do but lentils and black beans appear to be the most beneficial. The recommendation is 1/2 cup every day.
Freshly brewed tea contains potent antioxidants, especially the class known as catechines, which promotes a healthy blood flow. Two or three cups a day, cold or hot, may boost your brain power by enhancing your memory, focus and mood.
Bottled teas may be more of a health hazard than beneficial. Research from Linus Pauling Institute, University of Kansas and Consumer Reports found that bottled teas are low in antioxidants. Most of the bottled teas are also high in sugar content.
I saved the best for last, dark chocolate. It contains both powerful antioxidants properties and several natural stimulants including caffiene. There is a word of caution here; you should eat choclate in moderation. one-half ounce to one ounce a day provides all the benefits you need.