More and more research proves that the health of your brain is directly linked to your diet. Specific nutrients and vitamins can improve cognitive function and strengthen nerve connection. By making a few simple changes to your diet, it is possible to protect and preserve the brain and improve overall cognitive function well into the golden years.
A study published in the Journal of Neuroscience in 2007 showed that omega-3 fatty acids boost the production of a protein which is known to eradicate a brain plaque associated with Alzheimer’s disease. The specific omega- 3 fatty acid is called DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and is found in cold water fish and fish oil supplements and some fortified foods.
In a workshop sponsored by the National Institutes of Health and the International Society for the Study of Fatty Acids and Lipids, recommends that the average healthy adult should take 220 milligrams of DHA omega-3 per day. Many experts are pushing for an even higher intake of DHA omega-3, suggesting that 600-900mg may be more appropriate for preventing dementia (Life’s DHA-Index of Brain Health).
The best sources of DHA are seafood, algae, and especially coldwater fish. Popular sources of DHA containing seafood are salmon, sardines, and tuna. Eggs and organ meats also contain DHA but in much smaller amounts than seafood. Experts recommend eating two 4-ounce servings of omega-3 rich fish per week to get the necessary amounts of fatty acids and DHA. Besides fish oils, flaxseed oil is also a rich source of omega- 3 fatty acids.
In addition to consuming seafood and DHA fortified foods, other brain boosting foods include fruits and vegetables. Select colourful ones such as red grapes, berries and tomatoes, all which contain polyphenols which decrease inflammation. Other fruits and vegetables that contain powerful antioxidants include oranges, carrots and spinach and should be included daily in the diet.
Heart healthy oils found in foods such as avocados, olive oils and nuts can help the brain while helping protect the heart from disease.
Indulge in a small amount of dark chocolate daily. Experts recommend consuming a dark chocolate that is 60% dark or higher as the best source of flavonoids which also prevent inflammation, thus improving the memory.
By making these small adjustments to your diet, it is possible to keep your brain healthy and ward off many of the diseases most commonly associated with the ageing process.
And if you want to go one step further have a look at my book “Super Foods for Super Health” - it is free at http://www.alzheimersalternative.com/freebook and if you really want to help yourself check out The Alzheimer’s Alternative at http://www.alzheimersalternative.com.
Dr. Steffan H. Abel D.C. has been involved in Chiropractic and healthcare research for over 20 years. He has run his own successful practice in the north of England for the last 19 years. During which time he has treated over 10,000 patients and given over 100,000 treatments. He has lectured and taught extensively in both Europe and America to students, chiropractors and medical doctors.
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He has studied Hypnotherapy, N.L.P. and qualified as a Life Coach. He has also studied various Chiropractic-based treatments (gaining a M.Sc. in post graduate Clinical Chiropractic in 2003) as well as energy therapies such as Seichem and Reiki. In 2001 he became a Fellow of the College of Chiropractors and a Fellow of the Association of Osteomyology and in 2007 became a Fellow of the European Academy of Chiropractic.
In his spare time he spends between 15 and 25 hours per week researching all areas of “alternative” and allopathic healthcare in order to bring the best advice to his patients through his practice and writing and has just finished his latest book The Alzheimer's Alternative (www.alzheimersalternative.com). When not working he is to be found enjoying life with Sue, his partner, – whom he loves tremendously!