Some foods are especially good at protecting the brain’s delicate nerve cells and blood vessels from the damage that accompanies aging. These foods help eliminate the renegade oxygen molecules (free radicals) spun off as the brain goes about the business of the mind. Also, the foods that are smart for the brain are also good for the heart because both rely on a steady oxygen supply.
Sweet wild blueberries are bursting with antioxidants, which mop up nasty free radicals. Chemicals in blueberries affect the contractile machinery of arteries, and therefore have a good affect on blood pressure.
- Dark Leafy Greens
Helps to eliminate homocysteines, as “homocysteine has a toxic effect on arterial walls, and oxidation corrodes the arterial walls too, which makes them a bad combination.” Folate and B12 or B6, vitamins found in vegetables like collard greens and swiss chard helps to break down homocysteine
- Salmon, Sardines, and Herring
Contains neuroprotective omega 3’s fatty acids. Studies have shown its positive effect on learning acquisition and memory performance.
Spinach turns out to be full of antioxidant power. Research suggests spinach beneficial in slowing down age-related problems in the central nervous system and cognitive deficits.
- Red Wine, or, better yet, Grape Juice
With its powerhouse of antioxidants, research shows that concord grape juice significantly improves short-term memory, motor skills and may increase production of the neurotransmitter dopamine. Red wine just only be consumed in moderation.
- Whole Grains and Brown Rice
It’s filled with vitamins and magnesium, and vitamin B6, which aids in reducing homocysteine levels.
- Hot Cocoa
Researchers found that the antioxidant content of two tablespoons of pure cocoa powder is “almost two times stronger than red wine, two to three times stronger than green tea and four to five times stronger than that of black tea.”
- Nuts, Notably Almonds and Walnuts
In July 2003, the FDA approved the following health claim for nut package labels:
“Scientific evidence suggests, but does not prove, that eating 1.5 ounces per day of some nuts, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, may reduce the risk of heart disease.” Nuts are rich in antioxidants too.
- Olive Oil
Olive oil contains the potent antioxidants called polyphenols. Olive oil has been shown to reduce blood pressure and cholesterol levels. The extra-virgin variety is best.
It contains strong antibacterial and antiviral compounds that help shake off stress-induced colds and infections as well as fendsing off aging with its antioxidant properties. Raw, crushed garlic is best!
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