Believe it or not, when you’re relaxed you digest food better, leading to better portion control. And portion control helps people avoid obesity, which impairs cognition and shortens life expectancy.
When obese people lose weight, they also experience significant memory improvements that last for years.
Consuming omega-3 fats from fish and nuts fights brain inflammation, and fruits and vegetables diminish age-related oxidative stress.
It’s important to avoid chips, doughnuts, and cookies, or at least practice rigorous portion control when you do eat them. Refined sugars and processed foods increase the risk for diabetes, which in turn doubles our risk for Alzheimer’s disease.
In moderation, alcohol is associated with better brain health. It may be that a glass of wine at dinner lowers stress, which protects the brain.
In addition, resveratrol, an organic compound that has been extracted from red wine, has shown anti-aging effects in lab studies.
Caffeine in moderation also protects the brain, as do many spices.
My research team recently finished testing whether a bioavailable form of the spice curcumin (from turmeric) staves off memory loss. People who live in India consume a lot of curcumin-rich curry, and have a lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. And people who eat spicy Indian food on a regular basis perform better on memory tests.
Our study results indicate that taking a bioavailable form of curcumin can improve mild age-related cognitive issues.
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