8 nutrients to keep your brain alert

8 nutrients to keep your brain alert

As people age, the brain is more susceptible to cognitive decline, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. In the March 2015 issue of Food Technology from the Institute of Food Technologists, editor Linda Milo Ohr writes about 8 nutrients to keep your brain alert.

1. Blueberries:
These potent little berries are very rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. They contain high levels of antioxidants called anthocyanins and flavonoids. Blueberries were shown in a Harvard study to delay memory decline.

2. Choline:
This nutrient helps with the function of communication systems for cells within the brain and the whole body. Choline may also help prevent the changes in the brain that cause cognitive decline. Eggs are a great source of choline.

3. Citocoline:
Citicoline is a natural substance found in cells, which helps create brain tissue. It also helps regulate cognitive function, promotes communication between neurons, and protects neural structures from free radical damage. Clinical trials show that citocoline supplements may be a safe and effective treatment for cognitive decline.

4. Cocoa flavonols:
Cocoa flavonols may be connected to cognitive decline. A 2014 study published in Nature Neuroscience shows that they may improve the health of the dentate gyrus, which is linked to age-related memory.

5. Magnesium:
This important nutrient is great for brain health, and is often recommended for people who have concussions, which is a brain related energy. Avocados, bananas, and dark chocolate are all great sources of magnesium.

6. Phosphatidylserine and Phosphatidic Acid:
Clinical studies show that a combination of phosphatidylserine and phosphatidic acid can help benefit mood, memory, and cognitive function in seniors.

7. Omega-3 fatty acids:
Omega-3s have a great reputation for promoting heart health, and now evidence is mounting showing its potent brain benefits as well. Studies show that omega-3s can protect from cognitive decline and dementia, and they also increase brain volume.

8. Walnuts:
A new animal study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease shows that a diet, rich in walnuts may reduce the risk, delay the onset, or possibly even prevent Alzheimer’s disease.

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REFERENCES:
1. “Dietary Supplementation of Walnuts Improves Memory Deficits and Learning Skills in Transgenic Mouse Model of Alzheimer’s Disease.” IOS Press. Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, 11 July 2014. Web. 27 Apr. 2014.
2. “8 Nutrients to Protect the Aging Brain.” Institute of Food Technologists (IFT). Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), 15 Apr. 2015. Web. 27 Apr. 2015.
3. “Berries Keep Your Brain Sharp.” Harvard Gazette. Brigham and Women’s Hospital Communications, 26 Apr. 2012. Web. 27 Apr. 2015.
4. “Citicoline May Improve Memory, Decrease Cognitive Decline.” Medscape. Medscape, 5 Mar. 2013. Web. 27 Apr. 2015.
5. “Enhancing Dentate Gyrus Function with Dietary Flavanols Improves Cognition in Older Adults.” Nature Neuroscience. Nature.com, 2 Nov. 2014. Web. 27 Apr. 2015.
6. “Omega-3 Fatty Acids Increase Brain Volume.” LifeExtension.com. LifeExtension.com, Aug. 2010. Web. 27 Apr. 2015.

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