5 Tips for Keeping Your Mind Sharp as You Age

With a blood pressure cuff, a scale, and a blood draw, your doctor can tell a lot about the health of your heart. It’s not that easy to do a brain check: There are no simple tools for gauging your gray matter. Scientists can look inside, though, and what they see isn’t always pretty.

Age-related brain plaques, which may play a role in Alzheimer’s disease, can start forming in your 40s. And Alzheimer’s diagnoses may nearly triple by 2050, say researchers reporting in the journal Neurology. Keep your brain buff with these tips.

Love olive oil

In a study from Spain, men who ate about 4 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil a day showed better language comprehension, attention, and abstract thinking than those on a low-fat diet. Its antioxidants (Italian olive oil has the most) may reduce brain inflammation.

Shovel in the salad

“Antioxidants in fruits and vegetables protect your brain from wear and tear and the stress of aging,” says Gary Small, M.D., director of the UCLA Longevity Center. A 40-year-old guy should consume at least 2 cups of fruit and 3 cups of vegetables a day, the USDA says.

Become a fishmonger

The omega-3 fatty acids in fish (or fish-oil supplements) help form the myelin sheaths that line your brain’s “wiring”; their breakdown is a factor in both Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, says George Bartzokis, M.D., a professor of neuroscience at the UCLA Brain Research Institute.

Dine with wine

Drink a glass of red wine every day, and make it merlot. This type has the most resveratrol, an antioxidant that protects neurons from damage, says William J. Tippett, Ph.D., director of the University of Northern British Columbia Brain Research Unit. Dark chocolate has resveratrol too. Try 2 ounces.

Drop your blood pressure

The higher your systolic blood pressure is when you’re younger, the more likely you are to lose gray matter in key areas as you age, say scientists at UC Davis. Chronically high BP (above 120/80 mmHg) deprives your brain of blood and nutrients. Have your BP checked yearly after age 40.

 

Facebook
Twitter
WhatsApp
Pinterest
Reddit
Delicious
LinkedIn
Facebook
Twitter
WhatsApp

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

READ NEXT

These Foods Can Cut Your Risk of Stroke

A stroke occurs when the blood supply to part of your brain is interrupted or reduced, depriving brain tissue of oxygen and nutrients. Within minutes, brain cells begin to die.

These Common Habits May Shorten Your Life

When you eat, how you watch TV, and a number of hygiene habits may be seemingly harmless, but in reality, they could be shaving years off of your life. Midnight

7 Common Habits That Are Aging You

Are you aging faster than your years? If you don’t like what you see in the mirror, it may be time to evaluate some of your daily routines. The foods

10 Warning Signs Your Heart Is Sending You

Because of your heart, you can do everything you want, but you should be aware of the potentially serious warning signs that your heart is giving you. If you are

6 Healthy Ways to Prevent Kidney Stones

Kidney stones are hard mineral deposits that form in your kidneys. They cause pain when they pass through your urinary tract. Up to 12 percent of Americans are affected by

Discover If You Suffer From Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is a common condition that causes the level of sugar (glucose) in the blood to become too high. It can cause symptoms like excessive thirst, needing to

6 Foods That Improve Your Eyesight

The Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS), published in 2001, found that certain nutrients — zinc, copper, vitamin C, vitamin E, and beta carotene — may reduce the risk of age-related

Natural Beauty Products Doctors Actually Recommend

Tarte Gifted Amazonian Clay Smart Mascara ($21) “This mascara adds volume without flaking or clumping. And it doesn’t irritate my eyes, thanks to its lightweight mineral pigments.” —Kimberly Snyder, a

These Are the Scary Signs of Colorectal Cancer

Unhealthy dietary patterns and sedentary lifestyles have been shown to increase the risk for colorectal cancer. Fortunately, colorectal cancer is largely preventable by maintaining a healthy, active lifestyle and a

8 Home Remedies for Itchy Skin

Feeling the urge to scratch? Try one of these at-home treatments to tame itchy skin and remember that most rashes are minor and temporary. However, if a rash persists or

21 Weight-Loss Tips That Actually Work

Do you want to lose weight but nothing seems to work for you? Try making once again your weight loss plan, but, this time with some pieces of advice from

6 Types of Psychotic Disorders

Psychotic disorders are a group of mental health conditions that change your sense of reality. They make it hard to know what’s real and what isn’t. When you have these

Scroll to Top