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1. Leafy Greens
You knew this one would be on here, didn’t you? All vegetables play an important part in any healthy diet, but leafy greens are especially important to the functioning of the brain. Two very large scale research studies of older adults found that those who consumed more than two servings of vegetables each day had less overall mental decline. Those who consumed leafy greens as their vegetables of choice had the slowest decline of all. Researchers believe that leafy green vegetables have much more vitamin E than their counterparts, which might account for this. Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that helps to keep those old neurons firing away. For an extra boost of absorption, drizzle those veggies with some olive oil, such as on your afternoon salad. This will improve your body’s ability to absorb more of that important vitamin E.
One of the healthiest diets recognized throughout the world is the Mediterranean diet. This diet typically includes 5 to 6 servings of fish each week, but if that sounds like a bit too much of the old chicken of the sea, don’t wig out. Researchers have found that eating fish even just once a week can greatly lower your risk of both depression and Alzheimer’s disease. The American Journal of Preventative Medicine published a study that found that eating broiled or baked fish at least once a week actually increases your grey matter. Your brain actually begins to shrink as you age, so anything you can do to stop this, or at least slow it down, is a good thing. Order the fish and feel smarter than the average bear.
Who doesn’t love berries? Just looking at a big beautiful bowl of berries is enough to make you smile! If you are like us, you love adding berries to your yogurt, oatmeal or cereal, or even just snacking on them plain and juicy. Although all berries are loaded with tons of healthy compounds, if you have any choice in the matter, go for blueberries and strawberries. A large study, which involved more than 16,000 women who were over the age of 70, found that those who consumed at least two servings of strawberries each week or one serving of blueberries each week had much slower rates of cognitive decline. Researchers believe that these anti-aging effects are due to the powerful antioxidants in these two fruits called anthocyanins, which help to protect the neurons of the brain, especially in the area of memory and learning new skills.
Numerous studies have shown that in moderation, red wine not only helps your heart, but your noggin as well. The British Journal of Nutrition published a study which found that subjects between the ages of 43 and 70 who consumed, on average, 1.5 glasses of wine each day had fewer problems with memory and depression as they aged than those who didn’t drink wine. Bottoms up, friends!
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