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The way you eat can influence the health of your brain. While some foods promote memory and less cognitive decline, others have been associated with negative effects on memory and an increased risk of dementia.
Harvard Health shares that before you slice into a large ribeye steak and fries, there’s something to think about: “Research suggests that what we eat may have an impact on our ability to remember and our likelihood of developing dementia as we age.”
Changing some habits can promote the proper functioning of your brain and help you age in a healthier way. Here are some of those habits:
1. You do not eat fish
Fatty fish are rich in omega-3 fatty acids that are necessary for normal brain function and development. Nutritionist Keith Pearson notes that low levels of omega-3s can accelerate brain aging and contribute to deficits in brain function.
The National Institutes of Health share that in some research, people who consume more omega-3s from foods like fish may run a lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s diseasedementia and other problems with cognitive function.
2. You eat foods rich in saturated fats and trans fats
Diets high in saturated and trans fats are associated with poorer memory. Among several factors, the buildup of cholesterol plaques in the blood vessels of the brain can cause brain cells to be deprived of the oxygen-rich blood they need to function normally, which can compromise thinking and memory.
3. You eat little fruit
Fruits are rich in vitamins and antioxidants. Berries, like strawberries and blackberries, are rich in flavonoids, particularly anthocyanins. These substances have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. They protect cells from free radical damage that promotes aging.
The Journal of the American Chemical Society (ACS) notes that berries help the brain stay healthy in several ways. The anthocyanins in Berries help prevent neuroinflammation and may also help improve blood flow to the brain. They have been linked to a lower risk of dementia and Parkinson’s.
4. You drink sugary drinks
Dietitian Jillian Kubala points out that research has shown that people who regularly consume a large amount of added sugar can have poor memory and lower brain volumes than those who consume less sugar.
5. You consume refined carbohydrates
Diets rich in refined carbohydrates have been associated with dementia, cognitive decline, and reduced brain function. Refined carbohydrates include highly processed sugars and grains, such as white flour. Some examples are flat bread, pasta and white rice.
6. You consume processed meats
An observational study by scientists at the University of Leeds in the UK suggests that there is a link between eating processed meat and increased risk of developing dementia. Processed meats include products like hot dogs, bacon, salami, and corned beef.
7. You avoid egg yolk
The yolks are among the best sources of choline, an essential nutrient. The National Institutes of Health notes that your brain and nervous system need choline to regulate memory and mood, as well as muscle control and other functions.
Diets rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, including fish and good fats, such as the Mediterranean diet, are considered the healthiest for the brain.
It may interest you:
–10 foods included in the MIND diet for brain health
What to eat to live to be 100 years old
–A diet of tea or coffee daily can reduce your risk of dementia in old age