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How to Boost your Brain Health

    Scientists have learned more about the brain in the last 10 years than in all previous centuries because of the accelerating pace of research and its results.  Therefore the focus turned from nourishing your body to paying close attention to how to nourish your brain.  Enter brain healthy foods. No matter how old you are, protecting your brain can start today. From the day you are born your gray matter is developing and changing, what you do day in and day out can either help or hinder it.  The brain after all is no different then the heart. Just as you follow healthy habits throughout your life to prevent cardiovascular disease, you should also work on keeping your mind functioning at its best and stave off cognitive issues like dementia and Alzheimer’s.

     

    Studies suggest that after the age of 50, the rate of hippocampus loss accelerates, which may mean you have trouble finding specific words or even remembering names.  While this may be alarming, brain volume loss is a normal part of aging. The rate of brain volume loss is faster in people with mild cognitive impairment then in cognitively healthy people.  It’s even more accelearted in people with Alzheimer’s disease. Fortunately, brain-healthy lifestyle choices, like exercising and eating healthy do help slow brain volume loss.

    According to Harvard Health Publishing’s article “Foods linked to better brainpower”, March 6, 2021 – some of the same foods that help protect your heart and blood vessels also help protect your brain.  Here is a list of the top 5.

    Green Vegetables: Leafy greens such as kale, spinach, broccoli and collards are rich in brain healthy ingredients like vitamin K, lutein, folate, and beta carotene.  Research suggests these plant-based foods may help slow cognitive decline.

    Fatty Fish: Salmon, tuna and anchovies are abundant sources of omega-3 fatty acids, healhty unsaturated fats that have been linked to lower blood levels of beta-amyloid – the protein that forms damaging clumps in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease.

    Berries:  Flavonoids, the natural plant pigments that give berries their brilliant hues, also helps improvbe memory.  Acai berries and blueberries are on top of the list as a favorite source.

    Coffee and Tea: These beverages offer more then just a short-term concentration boost.  In recent studies, participants with higher caffeine consumption scored better on tests of mental function.  A shot of espresso is the purest form of caffeine.  Matcha or green tea are great options.

    Walnuts: Nuts are excellent sources of protein and healthy fats, and walnuts in particular might also improve memory, according to a study.

    A great resource for brain healthy food consumption is the book entitled “The Alzheimer’s Prevention Cookbook: 100 Recipes to Boost Brain” – November 13, 2012 by Dr. Marwan Sabbagh (Author), Beau MacMillan (Author)

     

    To schedule a free 45 minute consultation with one of our Geriatric Care Managers, please call 888.451.4290

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