By David Blyweiss, M.D., Advanced Natural Wellness
May 13, 2016
- Foods that age your brain
- How to make your brain five years younger
- Eat like a Mediterranean to ward off dementia
If you want to get through life without developing dementia, the best thing you can do is feed your brain.
You see, that old expression “you are what you eat” is especially true when it comes to your brain health. Eat the wrong foods – like ones that are high in sugar and salt – and you’re more likely to lose brain power as you age. They literally shrink your brain.
But eat the right ones and you can actually cut five years off of your brain’s age.
People who eat certain foods – like the ones I’m going to tell you about – have bigger brain volume. This includes a larger hippocampus, which is important for the formation of memories.
They also have more grey and white matter. Grey matter is where all of your neurons and synapses reside. White matter connects the different parts of grey matter to your nervous system. So both of them are necessary for your brain to fire on all cylinders.
Take 5 Years off Your Brain’s Age
There’s a very simple way to take a half decade off the age of your brain.
Just adopt a Mediterranean way of eating. I’m a big fan of it and recommend it to all of my patients.
The power behind eating like a Mediterranean comes from the abundance of healthy oils found in this type of cuisine. This is especially true when it comes to the omega-3 fatty acids found in wild-caught fish.
These omega 3 fats help to reduce brain shrinkage, strengthen neuron communication and increase blood flow to the brain. Additionally, eating plenty of omega-3 fatty fish helps lower blood levels of beta-amyloid, a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease.
Extra virgin olive oil is another staple of the Mediterranean diet. It contains an incredible antioxidant called oleocanthal. This compound boosts production of proteins and enzymes that are critical in removing brain-numbing beta-amyloid from your brain.
Now, it’s not hard to adopt a Mediterranean style diet. Here’s everything you need to know.
How to eat like a Mediterranean
If you want save your brain and eat like a Mediterranean, the first rule of thumb is to ditch any packaged foods you’re still eating, even if they sound healthy. It’s also important to cut back on red meat and dairy products.
- Make seafood your first choice when it comes to animal protein. Select small, wild-caught fish like mackerel, salmon, herring and trout. Shellfish is good, too.
- Replace your vegetable oil with extra virgin olive oil. Use it as a marinade, salad dressing, drizzle it over fresh vegetables or use it make a dipping sauce.
- Make organic, antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables the central focus of your meals.
- Top everything with zesty herbs and spices that are filled with anti-inflammatory phytonutrients.
- Snack on tree nuts, like walnuts, almonds and hazelnuts… and enjoy a glass of red wine every now and then.
Eating these healthy, natural foods are you best defense against developing dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. They’re also good for your heart, metabolism and weight.
So not only do you get a younger brain when you start eating them… you also get a healthier body!
Gu Y, et al. Mediterranean diet and brain structure in a multiethnic elderly cohort. Neurology. 2015 Nov 17;85(20):1744-51.
Pottala JV, et al. Higher RBC EPA + DHA corresponds with larger total brain and hippocampal volumes: WHIMS-MRI study. Neurology. 2014 Feb 4;82(5):435-42.
Fernando Gómez-Pinilla. Brain foods: the effects of nutrients on brain function. Nat Rev Neurosci. Jul 2008; 9(7): 568–578.
- H. Martinez-Lapiscina, et al. Mediterranean diet improves cognition: the PREDIMED-NAVARRA randomised trial. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry, 2013.