The harsh reality is that we're not getting any younger, and with aging come consequences, like losing your mental acuity. Ever forget names?

OK, I'll speak for me. But it does happen more frequently now that I'm north of 40. You meet someone over lunch, perhaps a prospective new client or a possible new business partner.

Two days later, uh, was his name John? Jeff? Or Jake? None of the above, actually. Jerod (his real name) calls me back and I have no idea who I'm talking to for the first 30 seconds. Not good.

It's inevitable, right? We will all eventually lose our minds. Luckily, science is on our side to slow things down. There are critical steps you can take to substantially increase the chances that your brain will be staying sharp and functioning at a high level, well into old age.

And it has everything to do with what you put in your body.

In an article published in Nourish & Heal 2017, writer Johnny Bowden, PHD, CNS, claims that a regular diet of fish and vegetables can actually "slow down cognitive decline by the equivalent of up to 19 years."

One study had researchers following 27,860 people in 40 countries for an average of about five years. People with the healthiest diets were 24 percent less likely to have cognitive decline than people with the least healthy diets.

What You Need to Eat for a Healthy Brain

If you want to protect your brain against memory loss so you're super sharp everyday for years to come, Nourish & Heal  recommends feeding your brain these healthy options:

Blueberries

Bowden references research by James Joseph, a scientist at Tufts University. Joseph says blueberries help neurons in the brain communicate with one another more effectively, something every brain needs for coordination and balance, but naturally declines as we age. Blueberries actually "turn on" the signals for the brain to process things faster.

Foods rich with Niacin

On your next visit to the grocery store, fill up your shopping cart with eggs, liver, fish, broccoli, asparagus, tomatoes, turkey breast, mushrooms, tuna, peanuts, brown rice, and green peas. Or just click here for more ideas. As it turns out, these niacin-rich foods have been correlated to a slower annual rate of cognitive decline in some research.

Coconut Oil

We can't forget our fats either. And coconut oil is awesome because the fats convert in the body to ketones--which acts like "rocket fuel" for the brain. David Perlmutter, a neurologist and author of Grain Brain, gives ketogenic diets the thumbs up for brain power.

Foods Rich in Phosphatidylserine

If you can stomach bovine brain, phosphatidylserine has been shown to improve memory, cognition and mood. So, if you're forgetting those important names like I am, it will help improve name recall, concentration, face recognition, and the ability to remember phone numbers and find misplaced objects! Who doesn't need this? Oh, and if bovine brain is making you queasy just thinking about it, try Atlantic mackerel, chicken heart or liver, Atlantic herring, white beans, and tuna instead.

Spinach

It's packed full of alpha lipoic acid, which helps boost memory. Bowden cites research by Bruce Ames, PhD, who performed experiments on aging rats. When given a combination of alpha lipoic acid and carnitine (see the next entry), the little critters performed better on memory tests and showed signs of vitality.

Lean Beef

Beef is one of the richest natural sources of carnitine, which is also linked to restoring memory. One 3-ounce serving of steak supples approximately 81 milligrams of the compound, aiding in energy metabolism and removing toxic compounds from cells.

Foods Rich in Vitamin B

A deficiency of vitamin B12 may lead to mental disorders including confusion, depression, memory loss, and impaired coordination, says Bowden. It's common for the elderly to be deficient in B12. When researchers gave subjects injections of B12, they noted "striking improvements" in their cognitive function. Try swiss cheese, fortified breakfast cereals (all bran), skim milk, coconut or almond milk, crab, mackerel, and liver. If you're vegan, start here.

Foods Rich in Choline

Better found in supplements (which may be labeled GPC, or by its full name--Glycerophosphocholine), research has linked it to sharpened mental performance, attention, and concentration, even in people who are healthy. Try beef liver, eggs, cod fish, milk, Brewer's yeast, soybeans, cauliflower, spinach, kidney beans, quinoa, grapefruit, and brown rice. Click here for more ideas.

Bon appétit!

Published on: Jan 29, 2017