Berries and Dark Chocolate
As you age, the cells in your brain begin to deteriorate due to free radicals, a toxic byproduct of oxygen metabolism. “You can have normal aging changes that can affect cognition,” says Dr. Ronan Factora, program director of Cleveland Clinic’s Geriatric Medicine Fellowship. Blueberries, blackberries, cherries and dark chocolate contain antioxidants that can help reverse that damage. “If you have that little bit every day, over time, it really adds up,” he says.
The blood vessels in your heart aren’t the only ones that need to stay clear. By stocking up on salmon, mackerel or tuna — all of which are full of omega-3 fatty acids — you can reduce atherosclerosis, or the clogging of arteries, which can later lead to strokes and heart attacks. “These oily types of fish contain fatty acids that are actually helpful in maintaining blood vessel health in the brain,” says Factora.
Turn to nuts such as almonds, hazelnuts and walnuts for a healthy snack between meals or a small protein replacement for red meat, which can lead to an increased risk of stroke and heart disease. “[These nuts] have the same type of good fat, good cholesterol and omega-3 fatty acids that also help to protect the blood vessels and prevent atherosclerosis,” says Factora.
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Click here to read the more articles from Best Doctors: Special Brain Health Report cover package.
8:00 AM EST
August 2, 2019