Want to think sharper? Prevent your brain from shrinking? (Yeah, that happens.) Keep your brain from aging? You can’t exactly take your brain to the weight room, but you can feed this muscle a diet rich in vitamins B, D, and E, choline, and omega-3 fatty acids. That’s why making sure your diet is rich in the six foods on Oprah’s Great Brain Grocery List will not only feed your mind, but feed your body with plenty of essential nutrients.
While there’s no cure for Alzeheimer’s or dementia, often times we can do a lot to prevent these memory diseases from taking hold of our lives. New research finds that memory decline sets in as early as our mid-40s, according to O Magazine.
Click through to see which foods you need to start tossing in your cart.
Not only can exercise improve your health, but an increasing body of research is finding that exercise benefits your memory. The advantages may be as diverse as reducing the risk of cancer, spurring the growth of new brain cells, and preventing Alzheimer’s.
In a study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in 2007, researchers found an improvement in participants’ blood flow to a memory-related brain area as well as increased scores on memory tests after a three-month-long workout program.
Another study, conducted at Cambridge University in 2010, showed that running stimulates the brain to grow new cells in the hippocampus, a part of the brain associated with memory. Mice were given rewards of sugar if they nudged a square to their left, and nothing if they nudged a square on their right. One group then had access to running wheels, and after their exercise they outperformed sedentary mice’s ability to pick the right square by nearly fifty percent. Tissue samples also showed that they had hundreds of thousands of new brain cells. (more…)
Flitting about like a hummingbird, dancing around every thought, whim and compulsive urge is how many of us go about our day. With an extremely high level of external stimulation hitting us from all angles (the computer screen, cell phone beeps, television commercials, radio jingles, shimmering billboards, etc.), giving our brain a rest is getting harder and harder to do.
Some people just don’t take the time to sit quietly, and thoughtlessly yet mindfully examine their state of being. Many of us claim to be too busy, disinterested or skeptical of the benefits a little time out of mind can provide. But science continues to uncover the truth that sitting quietly, slowing our thoughts and relaxing our brain may do more for us than we think.
Meditation, from its rise in popularity in the late 1960’s to its revival among millions of modern peace seeking yogis, has proven beneficial on so many levels. It is not only physically relaxing, it also helps make us smarter and feel less stressed.
Who doesn’t want to get smarter? Who wants to look better or be healthier? Many recent studies have shown how specific nutrients have positive effects on the brain especially in those areas of the brain related to cognitive processing or feelings and emotions. Generally speaking, you want to follow a healthy diet for your brain that will lead to good blood flow, help maintain mental sharpness and reduce the risk of heart disease and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and dementia.
We know how foods play a great role in our brain. This is the conclusion of several studies led by a phenomenal neuroscientist at UCLA, Gomez Pinilla.
According to one study, the super fats your brain needs most are Omega 3 fatty acids. Your brain converts them into DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) which enhances neuronal communication and promotes neuronal growth.
Alzheimer’s patients, to put it delicately, can be difficult. Take Margaret Nance. The 96-year-old, stricken with Alzheimer’s, would often hit staff members and refuse to eat at her previous nursing home. That was until she moved to Beatitudes nursing home, located in Arizona.
Patients are given whatever they want at this non-traditional nursing home. Whether it be a candy bar or a cocktail before bed, “whatever your vice is, we’re your folks,” said Tena Alonzo, director of research at Beatitudes.
No doubt, this nursing home is unlike any other. Giving into the patients’ wishes is not a common procedure at other homes.
“The state tried to cite us for having chocolate on the nursing chart,” Alonzo said. “They were like, ‘It’s not a medication.’ Yes, it is. It’s better than Xanax.”