As people get older, they tend to become gradually senile. They forget things a lot, are many times absent-minded, and in extreme cases, develop degenerative disorders that affect their cognition. But then, does growing old have to be this way? Does your keen mind have to deteriorate as you age? You may have seen how some older people have practically lost their dignity due to their senility, and you don’t want it to happen to you. Well, what you can do about it is to load your body with foods for anti-aging when you are still young. These foods would help maintain your brain health as you age.
They may have told you how well your age has to do with genes, so you should only hope that you have good genes. But this is not entirely true. Genes contribute only 20 percent, while your lifestyle and environmental factors contribute 80 percent to how you age. So then, the proactive steps you take now would determine how alert and young your brain would be when you grow old. It is not just about having a healthy diet plan. You would have to add up anti-aging foods in your diet plan. So what are these foods? Read on to find out.
What You Should Know About Foods for Anti-Aging
You would have heard it many times already that what you eat is who you are. It sounds kind of creepy, but it is true. We are not saying that you become pasta because you ate pasta. But then, the pasta you ate today is contributing to your state of wellness and health tomorrow. It’s that simple.
If what you eat for most of your young-adult life is unhealthy food, you will be largely unhealthy in your old age. That is quite sad but true. If, on the other hand, you choose healthy food now that you are still young, you stand a better chance of having optimum mental and physical health in old age.
Many fad diets are gaining more and more popularity these days. Combatting brain aging has nothing to do with these diets. It is more about eating a well-balanced diet that incorporates anti-aging foods that can enhance a healthy and young brain even in old age.
If you will achieve this, you would have to be committed to changing your lifestyle. Let’s face it; the typical western diet is not altogether healthy. You cannot feed on processed foods for most of your life and expect to be healthy and cognitively active in old age.
Fast foods and fattening foods would be out of your dish for good if you want to slim your chance of having cognitive deficiencies in old age. That is the typical western diet, right? But then, you can’t eat that way and expect magic to happen as you age.
This means that you must consciously choose to eat nutritious foods if you want to maintain optimal cognitive functions in old age. It would require deliberate efforts, some extra time at the groceries, more time to prepare your meals, and so on.
So long as you are willing to commit to this, you are game. Now, we will show you the kinds of food you can eat to maintain brain health in old age.
What to Eat to Maintain Brain Health
1. Plant-based Foods
Experts generally say that plant-based foods are good for combatting many of the negative effects of aging. So you should be eating a lot of leafy greens and colorful veggies for optimal cognition in old age.
You would get better results if you load up on a wide range of veggies. However, French fries and potatoes do not belong on the list. French fries have unhealthy fat, whereas potatoes themselves are starchy vegetables.
Vegetables have an assortment of abundant nutritional vitamins, fibers, minerals, potent anti-inflammatories, strong antioxidants, and special phytonutrients. Examples include bell peppers, asparagus, bok choy, carrots, bananas, oranges, and tomatoes.
Leafy greens such as kale, rocket, spinach, beets, and lettuce must not be left out too. You should incorporate greens into all your soups, smoothies, and sandwiches.
Omega-3s are healthy fatty acids that are vital for optimal brain development and function in all the stages of life. You need them when you are young, and even in old age.
The reason for this is that there are lots of Omega-3s in the cell membranes of all brain cells. They help to preserve the health of those cell membranes, as well as facilitate the flow of impulses from one brain cell to another.
When you are deficient in omega-3s, you may experience deficits both in memory and in learning. As you grow older, your brain size may begin to shrink if you don’t have enough omega-3s in your blood.
Sources of omega-3s include fresh fish like mullet, mackerel, salmon, silver perch, sardine, Australian herring, tuna, and jack mackerel. Other seafood, chia seeds, flaxseed, nuts, and seeds also contain a good amount of omega-3-s.
These two are the kings of them all. However, you should add up the following anti-aging brain-healthy foods also:
- Colorful fruits
- Whole-grain fiber-rich foods
- Herbs and spices
- Garlic and Ginger
- Dark chocolate (in moderate amounts)
- Red wine (just a little)
- Monounsaturated fats
A Special Kind of Diet to Try
There is a special diet with principles similar to the ones that enhance optimal cognitive functions in old age. It is called the Mediterranean diet. Experts have even found out that this special kind of diet reduces the risk of degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s significantly.
The Mediterranean diet would boost your brainpower, brain connectivity, and general mental performance in old age. Experts have noticed that those who practiced the Mediterranean diet as young adults usually have better cognition in old age.
Foods for anti-aging should be incorporated into your healthy well-balanced diet. If you do, you would have better cognition, mental alertness, memory, and mental performance in old age.