Did you know that as people age they can experience a range of cognitive issues? These can range from dementia and Alzheimers disease to decreased critical thinking. Here are some nutrients that may help keep the brain in good shape.
Blueberries rank the highest of any fruit for antioxidants and one cup delivers 14% of the recommended daily dose of fiber as well as almost a quarter of the recommended daily intake of vitamin C. They also offer a high concentration of anthocyanins a flavonoid that enhances the health-promoting quality of foods. Moderate blueberry consumption could offer neurocognitive benefits such as increased neural signaling in the brain centers.
In addition to decreasing blood pressure and improving blood vessel health, consumption of flavonoid-rich cocoa decreases bad LDL cholesterol among people under age 50, and increases good HDL cholesterol. Cocoa flavanols according to a 2014 study may improve the function of a specific part of the brain referred to as the dentate gyrus also associated with age-related memory. Preliminary research shows a possible connection to memory improvement.
Magnesium is a mineral that's important for the body to turn food into energy and for bone health. Although magnesium is available in supplements, most people should be able to get all the magnesium they need from a healthy balanced diet. Magnesium-rich foods include avocado, bananas, and dark chocolate. Magnesium supplements are often recommended for those who experience serious concussions.
Foods rich in Omega-3 fatty acids include salmon, chia seeds and flaxseed oil. Scientific evidence is mounting that fish oil - predominantly omega-3 fatty acids - can reduce the risk of sudden cardiac death. Some scientists also believe that omega-3 fatty acids can also improve one's blood lipid - cholesterol and triglyceride - levels. A 2014 study conducted on mice found that omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid supplementation appears to result in better object recognition memory, adverse response retention, and spatial and localizatory memory memories that can be consciously recalled such as facts and knowledge.
Choline is similar to the B vitamins and is found in foods such as eggs, liver, muscle meats, fish, nuts, beans, peas, spinach, and wheat germ. Choline is used for liver disease, including chronic hepatitis and cirrhosis. It is also used for depression, memory loss, Alzheimer's disease and dementia, Huntington's chorea, Tourette's disease, a brain disorder called cerebellar ataxia, certain types of seizures, and a mental condition called schizophrenia. Choline may also support the brain during aging and help prevent changes in brain chemistry that result in cognitive decline and failure. It is also associated with womens health as well as helping with communication systems for cells within the brain and the rest of the body.
Phosphatidylserine is a fatty substance called a phospholipid. It covers and protects the cells in your brain and carries messages between them. Phosphatidylserine plays an important role in keeping your mind and memory sharp. Animal studies suggest that the level of this substance in the brain decreases with age. Phosphatidic acids are the acid forms of phosphatidates, a part of common phospholipids, major constituents of cell membranes. Phospholipids are a major constituent of cell membranes, and influence a number of mechanisms in cell metabolism. Two pilot studies both in 2014 - showed that a combination of phosphatidylserine and phosphatidic acid can help benefit memory, mood, and cognitive function in the elderly.
Citicoline is a natural substance found in the bodys cells and helps in the development of brain tissue. This in turn helps regulate memory and cognitive function, enhance communication between neurons and protect neural structures from free radical damage. Clinical trials have shown that citicoline supplements may help maintain normal cognitive function with aging and protect the brain from free radical damage. A 2014 study showed that a diet supplemented with walnuts may have a beneficial effect in reducing the risk, delaying the onset or slowing the progression of Alzheimers disease in mice.