Having a healthy brain is the second most important part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle as we age, according to the AARP. As we age we can face a slew of cognitive issues that include decreased critical thinking, and memory loss as in dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.
But there are ways to keep the brain healthy, and one way is with proper nutrition. Here are 11 nutrients suggested for brain health.
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Cocoa flavanols help with circulation: These flavanols have been linked to better hearth health and memory improvement. Research has even shown that cocoa flavanols may stimulate the dentate gyrus, which is associated with age-related memory.
Omega-3 fatty acids contribute to more than good heart health:. It is commonly known that O-3s play an important role in overall health, but as far as the brain is concerned they seem to help with recognition memory, spatial and localized memory. You can find these oils in salmon, flaxseed oil and chia seeds.
Vitamin B is important for brain nerve health: While there are several types of B vitamins, B12 in particular has been proved to help with memory problems. After 50 some people lose the ability to absorb B12 from foods, so supplements are needed.
Vitamin C helps with brain function: Everyone knows that vitamin C is in orange juice, but did you know it is also found in broccoli, red peppers, dark green vegetables, strawberries and kiwifruits?
The sunshine vitamin helps with brain function: Vitamin D, that is, which is made through skin exposure to the sun. But older people tend to be lower on it, so if you consume it in fortified milk, from fatty fish or with supplements, your brain will work better.
Phosphatidylserine and phosphatidic acid can help benefit mood, memory and cognitive function as a dietary supplement.
Eat more walnuts to avoid Alzheimer’s disease: Numerous studies over the last few years have led scientists to conclude that a regular diet including walnuts can help the body fight the development of Alzheimer’s disease.
Citicoline supplements can help protect the brain’s neural structures from free radical damage:. This natural substance is already found in your body’s cells and helps develop brain tissues. It helps regulate memory and cognitive function.
Choline helps the body’s communication systems stay functional: This substance is associated with liver and women’s health issues as well, but it also helps prevent brain chemistry changes. You can enhance your choline by eating eggs.
Magnesium can help with brain injury: If you ever suffered a concussion, consider boosting your magnesium intake through supplements or enhanced diet with avocado, soy beans, bananas and dark chocolate.
Blueberries increases neural signaling in the brain: Strong in antioxidants and anti-inflammatories because of their high concentration of anthocyanins, blueberries will strengthen other health-promoting foods. They taste good, too.