Ten Best Foods (and Supplements) for Brain Health
Incorporating eggs into your diet can enhance memory and minimize fatigue. Read on to see 9 more of the best foods and supplements for optimal brain health.
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
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What are the best foods and supplements for optimal brain health? Based on our internal research and the discussions we've had with doctors, nutritionists and neurologists, ELDR editors have put together the following list:
1. Water. Dehydration raises stress hormone levels, causing serious brain damage. Drink at least ten glasses of water a day.
2. Fish. DHA, an omega-3 fatty acid found in fish, is the main component of brain synapses. A lack of omega-3 has been shown to diminish intellectual performance and is linked with dementia. If you don't eat fish, omega-3 is also found in walnuts, pumpkin seeds, and flax seeds. In addition, you can take it as a supplement; 1000 mg a day is what we recommend. (For a list of the best fish to eat, click here.)
3. Antioxidant-Rich Fruits and Vegetables. The best of these, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, are blueberries, blackberries, cranberries, strawberries, spinach, raspberries, brussels sprouts,
plums, broccoli, beets, avocados, oranges, red grapes, red bell peppers, cherries, and kiwis. Five servings a day of fruits and vegetables is recommended.
4. Complex Carbohydrates. For energy, your brain needs fuel, and the best choice is glucose. Complex carbohydrates, such as whole grains, starchy vegetables and fruits digest slowly, providing a steady supply.
5. Green Tea. Ingredients in green tea (and to a lesser extent, black tea) slows the build-up of plaque in brains from amyloid deposits. Drinking tea is associated with mental alertness.
6. Eggs. Eggs are rich in choline, a fat-like B vitamin, which has been shown to enhance memory and minimize fatigue.
7. Alpha Lipoic acid (aLa). This powerful supplement is both water and fat soluble, meaning it enters all parts of cells to neutralize free radicals. It is the only antioxidant supplement that can easily get into the brain. There is some evidence it is useful in the prevention of strokes.
8. Acetyl-L-Carnitine. This is an essential contributor to the production of the neurotransmitter "acetylcholine," which is required for mental function. Double-blind clinical trials suggest acteyl-L-carnitine delays the progression of Alzheimer's disease and enhances the overall performance of people with the disease.
9. Phosphatidyl Serine (PS). Stimulates cells in your brain to make new dendrites and axons. People who take PS remember more names, faces, phone numbers, and written information.
10. Nattokinase. Derived from fermented soybeans, nattokinase facilitates better blood flow throughout the body.
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