Let's get our brains in shape. You need to feed the brain to prevent illnesses much in the same way as you eat certain foods to prevent heart disease or high blood pressure.
Health experts are finding that certain foods do actually boost your brain power.
Here are ten foods to help the mind and memory:
Eating an apple with the skins on will supply you with quercetin, which is a powerful antioxidant. It helps to keep your mental juices flowing by protecting your brain cells. Researchers at Cornell University have stated that quercetin defends your brain cells from free radical attacks which can damage the outer lining of delicate neurons and eventually lead to cognitive decline. Result... an apple a day, may indeed keep the doctor away. Quercetin may also help reduce symptoms like fatigue, depression and anxiety.
A diet containing high levels of polyphenols and polyunsaturated fatty acids has been found not only to aid in building new brain cells, but also to prevent deterioration of brain cells already in existence. The study comes from the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona (UAB). Polyphenols is a potent antioxidant. To keep those brain cells from becoming inflamed and destroyed, it is recommended to eat blackberries. So as we age, we can still absorb new information with less difficulty.
EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL
According to research conducted at the Monell Chemical Senses Centre in Philadelphia, PA, extra virgin olive oil may be a potent weapon against ADDLs (amyloid B-derived diffusible ligands), Alzheimer's inducing proteins that are toxic to the brain. Extra virgin olive oil is rich in oleocanthal, a compound known to disable ADDLs and prevent loss of memory.
This is a great source of nutrients precious for keeping a healthy mind. It contains folate, vitamin E, and vitamin K which help to prevent dementia. Folate significantly reduces this risk of strokes. It is often said that "what is good for the heart is good for the brain". Spinach not only has a very potent source of folate, but also potassium, lutein and antioxidants to maintain and enhance your overall good brain health and prevents hardening of the arteries.
CONCORD GRAPE JUICE
As with blackberries, grape juice contains polyphenols which improves communication between brain cells. Researchers have found that polyphenols prevent the accumulation of beta-amyloid in the brain, and their formation into plaques associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Another great way to boost the brain.
Great news, chocolate can actually help to keep your mind sharp! Just a small amount, about two cubes each day helps protect against memory loss related to aging. It's the polyphenols in cocoa that do the trick, increasing blood flow to the brain. Researches have said that dark chocolate can help the brain after a stroke. It can also regulate blood pressure and slow down ageing. Well time does seem to stop when one is indulging in a moment with heavenly chocolate.
Cinnamon has two compounds, proanthocyanidin and cinnamaldehyde, that may be able to inactivate proteins that bring on the death of brain cells according to emerging research. Although the research is still in the early days, sprinkling cinnamon on your desserts or cereals will do you no harm at all.
Wild salmon is incredible food for brain health, and is clearly one of the healthiest foods that one can eat. It is one of the best sources of Essential Fatty Acids (such as the all-important Omega-3), a rich source of high-quality non-land animal protein, low saturated fat, generally among the lowest amounts of contaminants (such as mercury) among seafood, and other health properties -- wild salmon can help do everything from improve your brain matter, your mood, your synaptic connections, your arteries, reduce your risk of stroke and Dementia and Alzheimer's and much more.
Alzheimer’s disease in India is about one tenth of Western societies. Some thoughts are that it is due to the curcumin found in turmeric and in India a huge amount of turmeric is consumed in curries on a daily basis. Curcumin blocks the formation of beta amyloid plaques, a hallmark of Alzheimer's, fights inflammation and lowers cholesterol, improving blood flow to the brain.
According to a study published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, coffee can stave off the effects of aging on the brain—specifically in women over the age of 65. Coffee contains caffeine and plenty of antioxidants that may be the reason for its protective benefits.
Feature contributed by The Riviera Woman on January 15, 2011 at 11:06 pm.