Friday, March 30, 2012

The Importance of the Right Food for Brain Health

The food you eat may have a lot to do with how healthy your brain ages, according to the latest nutritional research.

A new study, from the Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, found that people in their late 80's with higher blood levels of B-complex vitamins, vitamins C, D and E, as well as the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish, showed less mental impairment and brain shrinkage typical of Alzheimer’s disease.

What you don’t eat matters, too. A recent Mayo Clinic study found that simply limiting food intake to fewer than 2,150 calories a day was linked to better brain health.

Here are some foods that can help you maintain your mental dexterity well into your later years:



1.     Beans

Beans and green peas provide a rich dietary source of B-complex vitamins (plus, they provide plenty of protein and fiber).

2.     Citrus

Oranges and orange juice are a convenient and inexpensive source of ascorbic acid (aka vitamin C), as are tangerines, limes, lemons and other citrus fruits.

3.     Almonds

Vitamin E occurs naturally in almonds, other nuts and avocados, and studies have shown that people with the highest blood levels of Vitamin E have a reduced risk of developing Alzheimer’s.

4.     Fish

Polyunsaturated “healthy fats”, like those found in salmon, herring, and mackerel, reduce inflammation in the body and seem to help the heart function.

5.     Spinach

Popeye’s favorite snack is rich in vitamins A and K, folic acid and iron, plus it’s versatile: It can be eaten raw in salads, baked, steamed or stir-fried.

6.     Coffee

Amazingly, a study found that caffeinated coffee decreased blood levels of a plaque-forming protein and even reduced Alzheimer’s-like cognitive impairment.

Visit the AARP website for more information like this.

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