Everyone has days when they simply cannot seem to concentrate, and although no magic formula exists to help individuals retain cognitive powers as they age, certain foods have been proven to increase brain function in senior citizens. Below are 4 top healthy foods that studies show protect against age-related cognitive decline.
Phytochemicals and other antioxidants in wild blueberries have been linked to improvements in memory, thinking and learning. In addition, they have been proven to slow neurodegenerative oxidative stress, which is linked to the natural brain shrinkage that occurs as people age. Wild blueberries also may help prevent Alzheimer’s disease, due to their high levels of anthocyanins, which are responsible for the blueberries blue pigment.
Turmeric is a yellow-colored spice found in curry. It contains an anti-inflammatory agent known as curcumin. Because curcumin crosses the blood-brain barrier, its neuroprotective benefits are very potent and combat a broad range of age-related neurological disorders.
Walnuts are another great choice for seniors concerned with maintaining a healthy mind. Similar to turmeric, walnuts contain many neuroprotective compounds, as well as numerous brain protecting antioxidants. Studies have suggested that seniors who consume walnuts on a regular basis have better mental reflexes and can problem solve at a more efficient rate compared to those who don’t consume them.
Among other healthy foods for seniors, celery makes the list of foods that are not only great for the mind, but also serve as healthy, low-calorie snacks. Celery contains large amounts of a substance called luteolin. The latter is a plant compound that research suggests has a calming influence on brain inflammation. Such inflammation is a primary cause of neural degeneration, which may lead to old-age dementia, general cognitive decline or specific diseases such as Alzheimer’s. Luteolin is also a great memory booster, and has been linked to a lower rate of memory loss in mature laboratory mice.
Fortunately, all the foods mentioned above are easy to implement in one’s diet. If you have an elderly relative with concerns about maintaining a healthy mind, encourage your senior to add such foods to his or her diet on a regular basis.