There is no magic diet that can guarantee a sharp mind as you age, and no wonder treatment that can reverse cognitive decline. Nutritionists say the most important strategy is to eat a well-balanced diet rich in fruits, whole grains, vegetables, legumes, and dairy products. Choose healthy fats over saturated fats, such as olive oil or canola oil, and aim to get your protein from fish and plants.
According to studies, the nutrients that are best for your heart, blood vessels, and brain are the same:
Green, leafy vegetables.
Kale, spinach, collards, and broccoli are high in brain-healthy minerals such as vitamins, lutein, folate, and beta-carotene. According to research, these plant-based diets may aid reduce cognitive deterioration.
Fatty fish are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which are good unsaturated fats associated with lower blood levels of beta-amyloid—the protein that forms harmful clumps in the brains of persons with Alzheimer’s disease. Eat fish at least twice a week, but choose low-mercury versions such as salmon, canned light tuna, cod, and pollack. If you don’t like fish, consult your doctor about taking an omega-3 supplement, or choose terrestrial omega-3 sources such as flaxseeds, avocados, and walnuts.
Flavonoids, the natural plant pigments that give berries their vibrant colors, have been shown in studies to aid memory. Researchers at Harvard’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital discovered that eating two or more servings of blueberries and strawberries each week prevented memory impairment by up to two and a half years.
Coffee and tea
Caffeine in coffee or tea may provide more than just a short-term increase in concentration. In a 2014 study published in The Journal of Nutrition, participants who consumed more coffee performed better on mental function tests. Caffeine may also help with the consolidation of new memories, according to recent studies. Johns Hopkins University researchers allowed individuals to look at a sequence of photos before taking either a placebo or a 200-milligram caffeine tablet. On the next day, more members of the caffeine group correctly identified the photos.
Nuts are high in protein and healthy fats, and one variety of nuts, in particular, may help with memory. A 2015 UCLA study connected increased walnut eating to higher cognition test scores. Walnuts are abundant in omega-3 fatty acid and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). ALA and other omega-3 fatty acid-rich diets have been associated with lower blood pressure and cleaner arteries. That is beneficial to both the heart and the brain.