Diet plays an enormous role in preventing dementia and keeping your brain young. Scientists have pinpointed certain nutrients that are associated with improved cognition. Here are 6 nutrients that can help keep your brain young:
Cocoa: The flavanols found naturally in cocoa and dark chocolate (not milk chocolate) are very beneficial. These flavanols can stimulate the dentate gyrus in brain—a region involved in memory function.
Omega-3 fatty acids: Plant-based foods rich in omega-3’s, such as flax seeds and walnuts, are not only good for your heart, they’re also good for your brain. They help with object recognition memory, spatial and localized memory, and aversion response retention.
Magnesium: Getting insufficient magnesium can lead to cognitive decline, accelerated brain aging, and ultimately dementia. Foods high in magnesium include pumpkins seeds, chard, spinach, almonds, black beans, avocados, figs, and dark chocolate.
Blueberries: Blueberries contain anthocyanins which are naturally occurring compounds with potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. Anthocyanins can increase neuronal signaling in the brain’s memory areas.
Cruciferous vegetables: Eating a lot of vegetables can help prevent a whole host of chronic degenerative disease. Cruciferous vegetables in particular have been shown to reduce the rate of cognitive decline. Such vegetables include arugula, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, radishes, and turnips.
Green tea: Green tea is good for so many things. With regards to brain health, green tea has been found to enhance your thinking process and working memory. Green tea also enhances the connectivity between the parietal and frontal cortexes of the brain.
Published March 19, 2018 by Dr. Daniel Thomas, DO, MS