As we age, mild cognitive decay and memory loss are common; but, there are steps you can take to minimize the effects of aging on the brain. In addition to exercise, diet plays a big part in keeping our brains healthy. Below, you’ll find a list of nutrients to include in your diet and which foods contain those brain boosters.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
In clinical studies, Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to reduce cognitive decay in the elderly, treat mood disorders, improve cognition after brain trauma and lessen cognitive decay associated with Alzheimer’s.
Foods containing Omega-3 fatty acids include:
Found in turmeric (a spice used in curries), curcumin has been shown to reduce cognitive decay associated with Alzheimer’s and traumatic brain injury in mice. The spice can also help fight inflammation.
In combination with exercise, flavonoids (a plant pigment) improve cognitive function in the elderly.
Foods containing flavonoids include:
It’s widely known that Vitamin D is crucial in helping the body absorb calcium, but it’s also vital for preserving cognitive functioning in the elderly.
You can find Vitamin D in the following foods:
Fatty fish (like salmon and mackerel)
Vitamin E is another brain booster that helps improve cognitive function after brain trauma and reduces cognitive decay in the elderly.
These foods contain a healthy dose of Vitamin E:
Studies have indicated that there’s a causal relationship between dietary choline and improved cognition in humans and rats.
Choline can be found in:
A low level of selenium in the body over the course of a lifetime is associated with lowered cognitive function. It’s important that you get enough selenium from an early age.
This nutrient can be found in the following foods:
Low levels of copper in blood plasma is correlated with cognitive decline in Alzheimer’s patients.
Foods containing dietary copper include:
Beef or lamb liver
In young women, iron can normalize cognitive function.
You can find iron in these foods:
The Mediterranean diet is believed to help promote healthy cognition as we age. That’s because it contains a lot of foods on this list!
If you’re concerned about how your diet may be affecting your memory or cognitive ability, speak with a nutritionist or dietitian.