Foods and Vitamins to Support Brain Health
Before I forget, many thanks to Jim Porter for the guided imagery piece he posted at his StressStop website. If that name sounds familiar, it’s because you’ve seen some of his excellent stuff in our catalog – A Day away from Stress; the same relaxing audio segments in Spanish: Un Dia Lejos Del Estres, and of course his drop-dead-gorgeous video feast for the eyes, for those who need to see their relaxation, Rest & Relax.
Jim recently started posting his live radio interviews, and the one we did together last week is here. It was a fun interview
Now, if you feel your memory or cognitive acuity aren’t quite what they used to be, Drs. Mehmet Oz and Michael Roizen have put together a list of what foods, vitamins and minerals we can ingest to support brain health.
Here it is:
Turmeric and curcumin—These spices, common in Indian curries (and also most yellow mustards), fight memory loss, increase memory-boosting neurotrophins and decrease levels of APO E4 (a risk factor for Alzheimer’s).
B vitamins (B12, B6 and folic acid)—These vitamins help your neurotransmitters (chemicals that ferry messages around your brain) run efficiently. Getting 40 mg of B6, 800 mcg of B12 and 400 mcg of folic acid daily, including what’s in your multivitamin, should do the trick.
E Vitamins—Foods like spinach, sunflower seeds, mangos and blueberries are great sources of different types of vitamin E and drop your risk of dementia by 25 percent. However, E is not that easy to get from food, so we still recommend taking a 100 IU supplement of E (alpha-tocopherol) daily.
Selenium—This mineral keeps your memory razor-sharp. Getting at least 55 mcg of selenium a day can help you score as well on cognitive tests as people 10 years younger than you. Eggs, turkey breast and tuna are good sources.
DHA—About 60 percent of our brains are fat, and 50 percent of that is DHA, the primo form of omega-3 fatty acids. DHA keeps brain cells young and does repair work. After age 18, get 900 mg of algae-based DHA a day.
Eat the rainbow—Fresh fruits and veggies are brain foods. They’re packed with flavonoids, which power up your body’s own antioxidant protection system, protect against cognitive decline and reduce your risk of dementia by up to 76 percent. The flavonoids in celery, spinach, kale and collard greens are especially good at slowing mental decline.
Go Mediterranean—Eating Mediterranean style (whole grains, fresh produce, olive oil, lots of fish, some nuts) cuts the risk for early thinking problems by 28 percent in one five-year study, and those who already had signs of dementia reduced their risk of developing Alzheimer’s by 48 percent when they ate this way.
You can find more of what they have to say here.
Take care and be well,