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Protect Your Inner GPS for Better Brain Health

Protect Your Inner GPS for Better Brain Health

Often cited as the worst blunder in the history of college football, Roy "Wrong Way" Riegels picked up a fumble in the 1929 Rose Bowl and ran towards his opponent’s goal-line, resulting in a safety. His team, University of California Golden Bears lost to Georgia Tech 8-7. How could this happen to the All-American team captain?

The explanation didn’t come until the 21 st century. In 2014, Professor John O’Keefe discovered the brain’s “inner GPS” (and won a Nobel Prize). It’s supposed to keep you oriented to your surroundings. This directional guidance system lives in the “entorhinal/subicular region” at the base of your brain in the hippocampus. Chances are when Roy banged heads to get the fumble that confused his inner GPS and turned him around on the gridiron.

Well, we want to point you in the right direction -- for overall brain health and to protect your inner GPS.

There’s a direct correlation between obesity and a shrinking of your hippocampus, so: Avoid the brain-inflaming Five Food Felons; saturated and trans fats, added sugars and syrups and any grain that isn’t 100% whole. And give your brain the fuel it needs to think clearly.

  • Berry goodness: elderberries, blueberries and strawberries are packed with the powerful flavonoid quercin to reduce inflammation that’s associated with dementia.
  • Go nuts: walnuts are rich in omega-3s, but all nuts seem to protect the brain’s vascular system.
  • Feel the beet: their natural nitrates increase blood flow to the brain.

Medically reviewed in February 2020.

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