Aging affects the body and mind, which is why proper nutrition is very important to maintain our physical and emotional wellbeing. While all organs play a different role in our body each has its own, distinct nutritive requirements. Here is a list of nutritional foods to nurture your brain and help you guard against age-related mental disorders like Alzheimers, dementia and Parkinsons.
1. Cocoa Flavanols: Who doesn’t love cocoa-rich drinks, chocolate bars and chocolate-infused desserts? A good source of protein, cocoa is great for your brain health as well, since it helps maintains healthy cognitive development. A study in the journal AJCN (The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition) found that diets rich in cocoa flavanols (bioactive elements) can help arrest age-related memory decline in healthy adults.
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2. Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Omega-3 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) that are essential for a healthy body. While their significance in maintaining optimal functioning of the heart is well known, not many of us are aware of their equally essential role in maintaining our brain health too. Several studies have observed that omega 3 fatty acids enhance the growth of brain cells, improve circulation in the brain and also keep our dopamine and serotonin levels high which work as neurotransmitters. Low levels of these fatty acids have been associated with ADHD and depression. They may also protect against dementia and age-related mental decline.
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3. Magnesium: This mineral is very important for the normal functioning of the body. Besides our kidneys and heart, it also keeps our brain healthy and influences different aspects of memory and learning. Increasing your magnesium intake may help reduce age-dependent memory decline.
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4. Blueberries: Delicious and a powerhouse of healthy compounds, they contain myriad antioxidants, which have been reported to reduce the memory impairments normally accompanied by aging. In addition, blueberries promote concentration and boost brain power for a couple of hours after ingestion.
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5. Walnuts: The fact that they appear to be miniature 3D replicas of the human brain is no accident since researchers have found that a walnut-rich diet could lower, or even prevent, the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.
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