Brain-Healthy Foods to Fight Aging (2024)


What is the best source of lutein, the primary carotenoid antioxidant in the brain?

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"Brain Healthy Foods to Fight Aging" There's, an extensive scientific literature describing the positive impact of dietary plant compounds on overall health and longevity.

However, it's only now becoming clear that the consumption of diets rich in plant foods can influence neuro- inflammation, brain inflammation, leading to the expression of cytoprotective, cell protective.

And restorative proteins.

Just over the last decade, remarkable progress has been made to realize that oxidative stress and chronic, low-grade inflammation, are major risk factors underlying brain aging.

So no wonder antioxidant and anti-inflammatory foods may help.

The brain is especially vulnerable to free, radical attack, oxidative stress, due to its high fat content and its cauldron of high metabolic activity., You, don't want your brains to go rancid.


You'd think one of the major fat-soluble dietary, antioxidants like beta-carotene would step in.

But the major carotenoid concentrated in the brain is actually lutein; the brain just preferentially sucks.

It up.

For example.

If you look at the oldest old, like in the Georgia centenarian study, recognizing that oxidation is involved in age-related cognitive decline.

They figured dietary antioxidants may play a role in its prevention or delay.

So they looked at eight different ones.

Vitamin A, vitamin E, on down the list, and only lutein was significantly related to better cognition.

Now in this study.

They looked at brain tissue on autopsy.

By, then it's a little too late.


How could you study the effects of diet on the brain while you're still alive? If only there was a way we could physically look into the living brain with our own two eyes., There, is!, With, our own two eyes., The retina.

The back of our eyeball, is actually an extension of our central nervous system, an outpouching of the brain during development, and right in the middle there's.

A spot.

This is what the doctor sees when they look into your eye with that bright light.

That spot, called the macula, is our HD camera, where you get the highest resolution, vision, and it's packed with lutein.

And indeed, levels in the retina correspond to levels in the rest of your brain.

So your eyes can be a window into your brain.


Now we can finally do studies on live people to see if diet can affect lutein levels in the eyes, which reflects lutein levels in the brain, and see if that correlates with improvements in cognitive function., And, indeed, significant correlations exist between the amount of macular pigment.

These plant pigments like lutein in your eye, and cognitive test scores.

You can demonstrate this on functional MRI scans, suggesting lutein and a related plant pigment called zeaxanthin promote cognitive functioning in old age by enhancing neural efficiency, the efficiency by which our nerves communicate.

Like check out.

This cool study on white matter, integrity using something called diffusion tensor imaging, which provides unique insights into brain network, connectivity, allowing you to follow the nerve tracts throughout the brain.


Researchers were able to show enhanced circuit integrity based on how much lutein and zeaxanthin.

They could see in people's eyes— further evidence of a meaningful relationship between diet and integrity of our brains, particularly in regions vulnerable to age-related decline.

So do Alzheimer's.

Patients have less of this macular pigment?, Significantly less lutein in their eyes, significantly less lutein in their blood, and a higher occurrence of macular degeneration, where this pigment layer gets destroyed.

The thickness of this plant pigment layer in your eyes can be measured and may be a potential marker for the beginnings of Alzheimer's.

Let's, not wait that long, though., We know, macular pigment density is related to cognitive function in older people.

What about during middle age? One apparent consequence of aging appears to be loss of some aspects of cognitive control, which starts out early, in mid-adulthood.

But not in everybody, suggesting maybe something like diet could be driving some of the differences.

Here's, a measure of cognitive control, showing younger, on average, do better than older adults.

But older.

Adults who have high macular pigment, lots of lutein in the back of their eyes, do significantly better.

These results suggest that the protective role of carotenoids like lutein within the brain may be evident during early and middle adulthood, decades, prior to the onset of more apparent cognitive decline later in life.

You can take 20-year-olds and show superior auditory function in those with more macular pigment in their eyes.


The auditory system, our hearing, like the rest of the central nervous system, is ultimately constructed and maintained by diet.

And it is therefore, not surprisingly, sensitive to dietary intake throughout life.

All the way back to childhood.


Macular pigment is associated with higher academic achievement among school.


You can look into a kid's eyes and get some sense of how well they may do in subjects like math and writing.


Finding is important because macular lutein is modifiable and can be manipulated by dietary intake., OK, OK.

So where is lutein found?, The, avocado and egg industries like to boast about how much of these macular pigments they have in their products.

But the real superstars are dark.

Green leafy vegetables.

A half cup of kale has 50 times more than an egg, a spinach salad, or a 50-egg omelet? And.

The earlier, the better.

Pregnant and breastfeeding.

Women should definitely be checking off.

My Daily Dozen greens, servings.

But, it's, also, apparently, never too late.


Some age-related cognitive decline is to be expected.

These effects may be less pronounced among those eating more green and leafy.

But you don't know for sure until you put it to the test, which we'll explore next.

Brain-Healthy Foods to Fight Aging (2024)


Brain-Healthy Foods to Fight Aging? ›

Research shows that the best brain foods are the same ones that protect your heart and blood vessels, including the following: Green, leafy vegetables. Leafy greens such as kale, spinach, collards, and broccoli are rich in brain-healthy nutrients like vitamin K, lutein, folate, and beta carotene.

How can I strengthen my brain from aging? ›

Small changes may really add up: Making these part of your routine could help you function better.
  1. Take Care of Your Physical Health.
  2. Manage High Blood Pressure.
  3. Eat Healthy Foods.
  4. Be Physically Active.
  5. Keep Your Mind Active.
  6. Stay Connected with Social Activities.
  7. Manage Stress.
  8. Reduce Risks to Cognitive Health.

What is the number 1 food for your brain? ›

Research shows that the best brain foods are the same ones that protect your heart and blood vessels, including the following: Green, leafy vegetables. Leafy greens such as kale, spinach, collards, and broccoli are rich in brain-healthy nutrients like vitamin K, lutein, folate, and beta carotene.

What 3 foods are best for brain health? ›

The Best Foods for Brain Health
  • protein-rich legumes, beans, and nuts;
  • high omega-3 fatty fish, like salmon; and.
  • fruits and vegetables, particularly dark-colored berries and green leafy vegetables.
Sep 7, 2022

How can I sharpen my brain at 60? ›

5 Ways to Keep a Sharp Mind as You Age
  1. Stimulate Your Brain. According to the Alzheimer Association, mental stimulation is important for brain health. ...
  2. Eat Smart. ...
  3. Exercise Regularly. ...
  4. Quit Smoking and Limit Drinking. ...
  5. Control Your Cholesterol and High Blood Pressure.
May 30, 2019

What are the 5 brain killer foods? ›

A Harvard nutritionist and brain expert says avoid these 5 foods to keep your 'memory and focus sharp'
  • Foods made with industrial and processed seed oils. ...
  • Foods with added and refined sugars. ...
  • Processed foods. ...
  • Foods with artificial sweeteners. ...
  • Fried foods.
Dec 2, 2022

What are the 6 best brain foods? ›

6 Foods to Eat Every Day for Better Brain Health
  1. Leafy Greens. Leafy greens, such as kale and spinach, are packed with nutrients, including vitamin K, beta carotene (a precursor to vitamin A), folate and vitamin E. ...
  2. Lamb. Are you a fan of lamb? ...
  3. Eggs. ...
  4. Salmon. ...
  5. Blueberries. ...
  6. Walnuts.
Apr 25, 2023

What can I drink to sharpen my memory? ›

  • Coffee. Coffee is probably the most widely consumed nootropic beverage. ...
  • Green tea. Green tea's caffeine content is much lower than coffee's. ...
  • Kombucha. ...
  • Orange juice. ...
  • Blueberry juice. ...
  • Green juices and smoothies. ...
  • Turmeric lattes. ...
  • Adaptogen lattes.

Which drink is good for brain? ›

Brain-Boosting Beverages
  • Coffee. 1/12. If you can't get through the morning without a java jolt, you're not alone. ...
  • Green Tea. 2/12. ...
  • Berry Juices. 3/12. ...
  • Kombucha. 4/12. ...
  • Green Smoothie. 5/12. ...
  • Turmeric Tea. 6/12. ...
  • Beetroot Juice. 7/12. ...
  • Ginseng Tea. 8/12.
Nov 30, 2022

What is the best breakfast for brain fog? ›

Eggs are loaded with choline, a type of B-vitamin that can enhance memory and cognition. It's a component of phosphatidylcholine, a critical part of cell membranes, especially brain cells. To incorporate eggs into your meals, try deviled eggs, but mash the yolks with avocado instead of mayonnaise.

What is the best brain food for breakfast? ›

7 Back-to-School Breakfasts to Boost Brain Power
  1. Mashed Banana & Whole-Grain Porridge. ...
  2. Egg Sandwich with Mustard Greens and Avocado. ...
  3. Very Blueberry Smoothie. ...
  4. Broccoli Frittata. ...
  5. Cranberry–Pumpkin Seed Energy Bars. ...
  6. Apple-Nut Breakfast Porridge. ...
  7. White Bean Huevos Rancheros.
Jun 13, 2017

Which vitamin makes you look younger? ›

Vitamin A (Retinol) Makes Your Skin Look Simply Amazing.

One of vitamin A's forms, called “retinol,” works supremely well to reduce wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, as well as acne. It's the main ingredient found in almost every anti-aging cream out there, and there's a reason for that.

What is the best drink to slow aging? ›

The 6 Best Teas To Slow Aging, Say Dietitians
  • Green tea. Green tea is one of the healthiest teas you can drink, especially when it comes to slowing down the aging process. ...
  • Rooibos tea. ...
  • Oolong tea. ...
  • Matcha tea. ...
  • Hibiscus tea. ...
  • Black tea.
Jul 13, 2022

Is brain aging reversible? ›

The research in Dr. Walter's lab suggests that brain aging might be slowed or reversed by tricking brain tissue into performing unnatural, rejuvenating acts.

How to rewire your brain in 21 days? ›

Psychologist and best-selling author Shawn Achor has made a career studying the science of happiness. His research shows you can rewire your brain to make yourself happy by practicing simple happiness activities every day for three weeks. The exercises can transform a pessimist into an optimist in just 21 days.

What is a natural brain enhancer? ›

Brain-boosting vitamins and supplements, including fish oil and rhodiola rosea, may help support healthy brain function. The specific benefits, such as focus and memory, may vary. Nootropics are natural supplements or drugs that have a beneficial effect on brain function in healthy people.

Which fruit is best for brain? ›

Fruits. Certain fruits such as oranges, bell peppers, guava, kiwi, tomatoes, and strawberries, contain high amounts of vitamin C. Vitamin C helps prevent brain cells from becoming damaged and supports overall brain health. In fact, a study found that vitamin C can potentially prevent Alzheimer's.

What foods get rid of brain plaque? ›

Ingredients of the MIND Diet
  • Leafy green vegetables, at least 6 servings/week.
  • Other vegetables, at least 1 serving/day.
  • Berries, at least 2 servings/week.
  • Whole grains, at least 3 servings/day.
  • Fish, 1 serving/week.
  • Poultry, 2 servings/week.
  • Beans, 3 servings/week.
  • Nuts, 5 servings/week.
Nov 27, 2019

Is peanut butter a brain food? ›

When it comes to choosing the right healthy foods for your brain, peanuts and peanut butter are a nutritious option: they can help with improving memory, cognitive function and concentration, they can give your mood a boost, and they can even support the prevention of Alzheimer's disease.

Are bananas brain food? ›

Reach for a banana. “Your brain runs purely off glucose (a type of sugar) and bananas are packed full it. Eating a banana will give your brain the healthy, natural, low GI sugar that it needs during exam time.

Is Coffee good for the brain? ›

When consumed in moderation, coffee can be very good for your brain. In the short-term, it may improve mood, vigilance, learning, and reaction time. Long-term use may protect against brain conditions like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.

What improves forgetfulness? ›

Follow a daily routine. Plan tasks, make to-do lists, and use memory tools such as calendars and notes. Put your wallet or purse, keys, phone, and glasses in the same place each day. Stay involved in activities that can help both the mind and body.

How do I stop forgetting things? ›

How to Prevent Forgetting
  1. Aim for mastery, not relative performance. ...
  2. Eliminate multiple choice questions. ...
  3. Use contextual clues. ...
  4. Work digitally and save often. ...
  5. Quiz instead of review to enhance memory for lists. ...
  6. To prevent forgetting, ask “why.”
May 9, 2016

What does Mayo Clinic recommend for memory? ›

Crossword puzzles, Sudoku, word searches, mazes: You might have heard that activities such as these can be effective brain games to stay sharp. Some of these claims are based on real science, and if you engage in these activities, you may keep yourself mentally fresher and sharper for a longer period of time.

What drink ages the brain? ›

A new study suggests that drinking as little as one beer or glass of wine daily is associated with a shrinkage in brain volume equal to two years of aging.

What are the best 5 nuts for the brain? ›

5- Almonds, Cashews, Pecans, Macadamia Nuts,and Walnuts

For example, walnuts are good for the brain because they have higher levels of DHA, which is important for brain health.

Is Lemon water good for the brain? ›

Nourishes the Brain and Nerve Cells

Lemon Water contains sufficient content of potassium. Potassium is proved to have a significant role and effects on the brain and nerve cells. Your brain can function best to its fullest potential when your potassium levels are high and stabilized.

What is good brain food for depression? ›

Foods That Help With Depression
  • Leafy Greens. Spinach and depression may seem like a strange combination, but leafy greens like spinach, lettuce, swiss chard and watercress have numerous benefits that support both physical and mental health. ...
  • Blueberries. ...
  • Salmon. ...
  • Oysters. ...
  • Dark Chocolate. ...
  • Bananas. ...
  • Walnuts. ...
  • Avocados.

What nuts are good for brain fog? ›

Add these to your diet to fight brain fog

Though all nuts are good sources of antioxidants, walnuts rank higher in potency when compared to superfoods such as almonds, pistachios and peanuts. They also protect the brain tissue from inflammation, which helps to support it as you age.

What vegetables are good for brain fog? ›

Dark leafy greens, especially. Iceberg lettuce has no nutritional value beyond fibre, but greens like spinach and kale contain plenty of vitamin C and iron. This means they help combat fatigue, especially when caused by iron deficiency – which can lead to tiredness and brain fog.

What foods wake up your brain? ›

5 brain foods to keep you awake (and make you smarter)
  • A strong cup of coffee. Every student knows that the local barista that makes that daily morning cup is their best friend. ...
  • A fruit shake. ...
  • A handful of dark chocolate pieces and nuts. ...
  • Fish and baked potatoes for lunch. ...
  • Pumpkin seeds.

What do geniuses eat for breakfast? ›

In fact, an egg-based breakfast turns out to be a common factor among many geniuses and high-achiever types. Dancer/choreographer Twyla Tharp starts the day with three boiled egg whites and coffee. Playwright Samuel Beckett ate scrambled eggs. Leo Tolstoy favored two eggs, hard-boiled.

Is oatmeal good brain food? ›

Oatmeal fuels the brain, satisfies hunger, and is also quite tasty, keeping your body and mind in full-force throughout the day. Oats also contain something called choline, which the body needs in order to produce a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine. Acetylcholine helps with both learning and memory.

What is the #1 nutrient to boost your collagen? ›

Vitamin C. Vitamin C is vital in the production of collagen. Without Vitamin C, the body can't form collagen, making this antioxidant an essential cofactor in collagen synthesis.

What drink is high in collagen? ›

Bradley says her favorite collagen-boosting brew is bone broth. Bone broth draws collagen out of beef, chicken or fish bones, leaving a flavorful liquid that you can drink straight up or use in other dishes.

What vitamin is the most anti-aging? ›

Vitamin A is the strongest argument for why you should keep going after supplementing with collagen. This powerhouse vitamin prevents and slows the effects of aging on both your insides and outsides. Vitamin A is also known as retinol, which forms the key ingredient in many anti-aging supplements and serums.

What can I drink to look younger? ›

Great news! Red wine is an anti-aging tonic. It helps you to look younger. Research suggests that red wine has multiple benefits including keeping your heart healthy, reducing blood pressure, glowing skin, etc. Daily one or two glass of red wine may give you amazing anti-aging effects.

What slows down aging face? ›

Findings from a few studies suggest that eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables may help prevent damage that leads to premature skin aging. Findings from research studies also suggest that a diet containing lots of sugar or other refined carbohydrates can accelerate aging. Drink less alcohol.

What slows aging the most? ›

Exercise is one of the best ways to delay aging. And with good reason: too much time sitting (sedentary behavior) is associated with an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and an early death. Aerobic activity is any activity that causes you to breathe harder than normal and your heart to beat faster.

What tea slows down aging? ›

White tea is the least processed tea over green and black tea and thus has the highest levels of anti-oxidants. The abundance of nutrients help protect the body from the damage of free radicals, maintain collagen levels and protects the skin from premature aging.

What supplements slow brain aging? ›

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3s play important roles in the membranes of nerve cells, and people with neurodegenerative disorders tend to have lower levels of EPA and DHA. Furthermore, research suggests omega-3s may help protect against neurodegeneration and reduce risk of cognitive decline.

What is the 5 word memory test? ›

Administration: The examiner reads a list of 5 words at a rate of one per second, giving the following instructions: “This is a memory test. I am going to read a list of words that you will have to remember now and later on. Listen carefully. When I am through, tell me as many words as you can remember.

At what age does cognitive decline start? ›

“Cognitive decline may begin after midlife, but most often occurs at higher ages (70 or higher).” (Aartsen, et al., 2002) “… relatively little decline in performance occurs until people are about 50 years old.” (Albert & Heaton, 1988).

What are the signs of an aging brain? ›

The Truth About Aging and Dementia
  • Not being able to complete tasks without help.
  • Trouble naming items or close family members.
  • Forgetting the function of items.
  • Repeating questions.
  • Taking much longer to complete normal tasks.
  • Misplacing items often.
  • Being unable to retrace steps and getting lost.

What are the three stages of brain aging? ›

The brain changes that may affect cognition and behaviour occur at the levels of molecular ageing, intercellular and intracellular ageing, tissue ageing, and organ change.

How do you reverse forgetfulness? ›

Tips for dealing with forgetfulness
  1. Learn a new skill.
  2. Follow a daily routine.
  3. Plan tasks, make to-do lists, and use memory tools such as calendars and notes.
  4. Put your wallet or purse, keys, phone, and glasses in the same place each day.
  5. Stay involved in activities that can help both the mind and body.

What is the number 1 vitamin to keep brain healthy? ›

Vitamin B9, or folate, is a popular supplement and a key vitamin for supporting brain and neurological health, optimal neurotransmitter function, and balanced psychological health. Another benefit is that it helps encourage cellular detoxification.

Does B12 slow aging? ›

This is called the epigenetic clock, and it can be changed by what we eat. In this study, we found that women who took supplements of folic acid and vitamin B12 had a slower biological aging. More studies on the effects of our diets on the epigenetic clock will help people to live longer and to stay in good health.

What is the most important vitamin for the brain? ›

B Vitamins

When it comes to brain health, focus on the three B's : vitamins B6, B12, and B9 (folate). “These three types of B vitamins are necessary for the brain's normal functioning,” says Dr. Agarwal, “and any deficiency in them may increase the risk of memory loss and other forms of cognitive decline.”

What are the 10 warning signs of dementia? ›

Ten warning signs of dementia
  • Dementia and memory loss. ...
  • Dementia and difficulty with tasks. ...
  • Dementia and disorientation. ...
  • Dementia and language problems. ...
  • Dementia and changes in abstract thinking. ...
  • Dementia and poor judgement. ...
  • Dementia and poor spatial skills. ...
  • Dementia and misplacing things.

What is one of the first signs of cognitive decline? ›

The main sign of mild cognitive impairment is a slight decline in mental abilities. Examples include: Memory loss: You may forget recent events or repeat the same questions and stories. You may occasionally forget the names of friends and family members or forget appointments or planned events.

What is the 5 minute dementia test? ›

The five-minute cognitive test (FCT) was designed to capture deficits in five domains of cognitive abilities, including episodic memory, language fluency, time orientation, visuospatial function, and executive function.

At what age is your brain the sharpest? ›

What age is your mind the sharpest? The human brain attains peak processing power and memory around age 18. After studying how intelligence changes over time, scientists found that participants in their late teens had the highest performance.

What triggers cognitive decline? ›

While age is the primary risk factor for cognitive impairment, other risk factors include family history, education level, brain injury, exposure to pesticides or toxins, physical inactivity, and chronic conditions such as Parkinson's disease, heart disease and stroke, and diabetes.

What time of day is your brain sharpest? ›

That said, science has indicated that learning is most effective between 10 am to 2 pm and from 4 pm to 10 pm, when the brain is in an acquisition mode. On the other hand, the least effective learning time is between 4 am and 7 am.


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