Newberry Observer

Eat your way to a healthy brain

The research is clear, what you eat has a big impact on your brain. In fact the right foods and combinations of foods can enhance memory, build new brain cells and even help ward off Alzheimer’s Disease.

Three Diets That Work:

Scientists have found that certain eating plans – including the Mediterranean diet, the DASH (dietary) diet – approaches to stop Hypertension Diet and a hybrid of the two dubbed the mind, developed by researchers at Rush University in Chicago, slashed the risk of developing dementia by 65 percent. Even those who followed the diet moderately had a 35 percent lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s

What Foods Are Best?

1. Olive oil, green tea and leafy greens (broccoli, spinach and kale) Each of these antioxidant superfoods helps fight inflammation.

2. Beets, tomatoes and avocados. These three darkly-hued foods help ensure that your brain receives the blood it needs to stay sharp.

3. Nuts, especially walnuts, curcumin and pomegranates. These foods work deep in the brain to fight to help amyloid plaques, one of the hallmarks of Alzheimer’s.

4. Fish, blueberries, grapes, coffee and dark chocolate. These nutrient powerhouses have been shown to increase a protein that supports the growth of new neurons.

Loneliness and Older Adults, Nancy Donoven and her colleagues studied 8,300 men and women 65 and older and found those who report feeling lonely increase the risk of memory loss. It is speculated that psycho social stress of loneliness may be harmful to the brain.

These Simple Exercises could Help Preserve Brain Health:

Light Strength Training may be the key to maintaining a healthy brain because of the way strength training pumps blood to the brain. Some researchers think it goes beyond the benefits of aerobics as we age.

If you have not done any strength, resistance, weight training lately it is never too late to start. Strength training is good for men and women. Talk to doctor or physical therapist before you start a new exercise program.

Playing your cards right may help keep you sharp long after retirement. Bridge intricacies make it particularly appealing for those who want to sharpen acuity with mental gymnastics.

A 2014 study by the University of Wisconsin-Madison found that playing card and board games can help older people retain their mental sharpness. Researchers discovered the frequency of playing games is associated with greater brain volume in several regions that are affected by Alzheimer’s Disease. Those who played more frequently also scored higher on cognitive tests.

Bridge offers big benefits regardless of age, income or physical condition.

For more information about brain health – Call during business hours 1-866 -389-5655 ( excerpt’s from a AARP Bulletin) or contact Teresa Arnold, ARP State Director at 1-866-389-5655.

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Margaret Brackett

Contributing Columnist

Margaret Brackett is from Newberry. Her columns appear weekly in The Newberry Observer.