By David Blyweiss, M.D., Advanced Natural Wellness
January 17, 2018
- Loss of brain function is a top concern for baby-boomers
- Eat this every day for a younger brain
- 2 more tips to slash cognitive decline and dementia
These days everybody wants to live longer… but only if they can experience those later years in good health and with all of their mental faculties intact.
And I have to say, one of the biggest concerns among baby-boomers today is the idea of developing dementia and spending their final days in a long-term care facility surrounded by strangers.
However, if you’ve been eating your greens, you may have a huge advantage when it comes to your brain health. It turns out that eating one or two servings of leafy greens each day could potentially take 11 years off of your brain’s age.
Let me explain what this means for you…
Eat this Every Day for a Younger Brain
We’ve all met people close to our own age who have similar likes and dislikes. Perhaps it’s a spouse, sibling, long-term friend or pleasant co-worker.
You go for walks together… maybe even join the same gym as “exercise buddies”. You probably meet up for lunch or dinner on a regular basis, and often enjoy the same foods. It’s not uncommon to get together for few drinks every now and then, or just sit around watching movies while munching on popcorn.
The only notable difference is that you love eating green leafy veggies. Salads are your go-to food. Collard greens and kale are something you’ll never get tired of eating. You can’t seem to go a day without them.
Your friend, on the other hand, turns his or her nose up at them.
Over the next 10 years, the differences in brain function between the two of you will show up.
Your memory and thinking skills will decline at a slower rate than your buddy’s. And after a decade has passed, you’ll have the cognitive abilities of a person 11 years younger than your friend – even though you are technically the same age.
This means that when you reach the age of 75, you can potentially have the brain function of a 64 year old!
I don’t know about you, but if something as simple as eating greens can prevent a loss of my mental abilities, I’m going to do it every day – two or three times a day.
2 More Tips to Slash Cognitive Decline and Dementia
To protect your brain even further, I recommend getting plenty of exercise every day. A good workout can nourish your neurons, decrease beta amyloid plaques and increase the size your brain’s hippocampus. All of these are necessary for a fully functioning brain.
Exercise also increases something called BDNF, brain derived neurotrophic factor. This protein encourages the growth of new neurons and improves their function. It also enhances synaptic activity, so your brain can make the right connections more easily and readily.
A good night’s sleep is also important to your brain health and memory. This is the time of day that memories get transported from short-term memory to long-term memory. (Think of it as an event similar to moving data stored on a flash drive to your computer’s hard disk.)
Additionally, during sleep your brain flips on a “drainage” system that opens up a waste removal highway between the cells of your brain. Researchers are calling it the glymphatic system.
When this system is flipped on, cerebrospinal fluid rushes between your brain cells to pick up toxic waste products, including beta-amyloid. This “trash” then goes to the liver where it’s broken down for disposal. If you’re not getting the regenerative sleep you need, this process doesn’t occur and waste will accumulate in your brain. Eventually it will suffocate and kill your neuronal network.
So remember! If you want to keep your brain younger and working at top-notch capacity as you age eat your greens, keep moving and sleep well.
Morris MC, et al. Nutrients and bioactives in green leafy vegetables and cognitive decline. Neurology. Published online first Dec 2017.
Head D, et al. Exercise Engagement as a Moderator of the Effects of APOE Genotype on Amyloid Deposition. Arch Neurol. 2012 Jan 9.
Erickson KI, et al. Exercise training increases size of hippocampus and improves memory. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2011 Feb 15;108(7):3017-22.
Jessen NA, et al. The Glymphatic System: A Beginner’s Guide. Neurochem Res. 2015 Dec;40(12):2583-99.