Diet & Nervous System

Diet & Nervous System

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  • 2 Answers
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    A well-balanced diet can help children of any age optimize their brainpower or thinking skills in and out of the classroom.
    • Start with the power of breakfast. Studies show eating breakfast improves attention and is associated with higher academic achievement. A good pick: whole-grain cereal, like oatmeal, topped with fruit and nuts.
    • Eat brain foods throughout the day. It's important to keep energy and concentration up with regular meals and snacks. Avoid items that can cause a sugar rush followed by a crash. Good picks: proteins (turkey, tofu, beans and nuts), whole grains and whole fruits and vegetables.
    Additional food for thought: A growing amount of research suggests omega-3 fatty acids, commonly found in fish such as salmon, help feed critical brain cell membranes that may aid in learning and memory.
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  • 2 Answers
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    A , Neurology, answered
    What foods are good for brain health?

    Believe it or not, the foods that are best for your brain health and immune system contain...fat! In this video, neurologist David Perlmutter, MD, discusses how pure, natural sources of fat and cholesterol are actually ideal for a healthy brain.


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    A , Neurology, answered
    Eating vegetables improves your mind. Researchers at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago evaluated cognitive changes in 3718 adults 65 years old and older and followed for 6 years. They found that adults who typically ate more than 2 servings of a vegetable daily had a 40 percent reduction in the amount of mental deterioration over 6 years. This meant their minds looked like they were 5 years younger! All vegetables, except for legumes, slowed loss of intellectual functions. The greatest benefit, however, came from green leafy vegetables.
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    A , Psychology, answered
    There are all kinds of claims for the abilities of nutritional supplements to enhance cognition. For example, vitamin B6 has been found to enhance memory (but far from conclusively) and there are many other claims being made by marketers for vitamins E, B12, folate, neurosteroids and so on.

    However, in reviewing the research the Academy of Medical Sciences points out that most of the studies are few, far between and small in scope.

    Verdict: Unproven, but probably not dangerous as long as you’re not exceeding the recommended daily allowances. On the downside supplements can be costly.

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    A , Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease), answered
    1MinBetterHealth 029 BeKindToYourMind
    As people age, their memories tend to get foggy. In this video, Dr. Oz reveals the foods that are crucial to maintaining a good memory.



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  • 3 Answers
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    A , Psychiatry, answered
    Colorful fruits and vegetables are loaded with essential vitamins and minerals, beneficial digestive enzymes and free radical-scavenging antioxidants that support the health of your entire body, including your brain and nervous system. Several studies have found that eating foods rich in antioxidants can significantly reduce the risk of developing cognitive impairment. For instance, blueberries have earned the nickname “brain berries” among neuroscientists, due to their rich antioxidant content. In one lab study, rats that ate blueberries were better able to develop their motor skills and also gained protection against strokes. Have you ever wondered where antioxidants get their health promoting qualities? I’ll tell you! Antioxidants are part of a plant’s defense mechanism and are produced in abundance -- along with other natural chemical compounds -- when a plant must fight to stay alive under the sun, or it is when threatened by hungry insect invaders. These survival-induced compounds are responsible for the plant’s color and flavor, along with its antioxidant and nutrient density. When we eat these foods, we ingest their cell-protective, survival properties -- which happen to taste delicious!

    As a side note: This is precisely why I suggest that you choose organic fruits and vegetables instead of conventional. Organic foods have not been sprayed with synthetic, brain-harming pesticides and have been allowed to fully engage their defense mechanisms while growing. This means that they have developed their full flavor profile and likely contain amplified levels of antioxidants, as compared to conventional fruits and vegetables that were sprayed with harmful chemicals and didn’t have to fight to stay alive. Have you ever noticed how much better an organic apple, tomato or strawberry tastes? The difference in flavor may surprise you!

    Fruits and Vegetables with High Antioxidant Levels:
    • Acai berries
    • Avocados
    • Beets
    • Blueberries
    • Blackberries
    • Broccoli
    • Brussels Sprouts
    • Cherries
    • Cranberries
    • Kiwi
    • Oranges
    • Plums
    • Pomegranates
    • Raspberries
    • Red bell peppers
    • Red grapes
    • Strawberries
    • Spinach
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  • 7 Answers
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    A , Internal Medicine, answered
    Follow these diet tips to improve your brain health:
    • Opt for healthy fats. Choosing monounsaturated "good" fats instead of "bad" saturated fats offers you the most protection against brain damage from silent strokes, so spread peanut butter (or the more sophisticated walnut, macadamia, almond, or cashew butter) instead of cream cheese on your whole-grain bagel; olive oil and vinegar instead of Ranch dressing; and a small handful (6 to 12 halves) of walnuts plus a crunchy apple instead of snacking on chips or ice cream.
    • Catch some omega-3s, even if you don't love fish. Three 3-ounce servings a week of non-fried fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, trout, haddock, or sardines, can make your RealAge younger. Not into fin food? Take omega-3 capsules. I like the docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) form of omega-3s (and prefer algae-based supplements to fish oil) and recommend 600 to 900 milligrams a day.
    • Buy brain-boosting foods, especially produce and whole grains. Drive-through dining with a multivitamin chaser won't cut it. Aim to eat a rainbow of brightly colored produce for vitamin C. Get vitamin B6 from baked potatoes, roasted skinless chicken breast, and chickpeas; vitamin B12 from seafood, yogurt, or nutritional yeast; and folate (yep, it's in the B family) from spinach, lentils, papayas, and asparagus. Add almonds, sunflower seeds, spinach, or hazelnuts for your dose of mixed tocopherols (the active component of vitamin E). Top it off with a vitamin D supplement (1,000 IU of vitamin D before age 60; 1,200 after). On the bright side, spending 10 to 20 minutes a day in the sun can boost your body's production of vitamin D by between 3,000 and 20,000 IU, depending on your skin type.
    • Go easy on (or eliminate) meats, sweets, and white carbs. Limiting these also helps protect your brain's thinking ability. Choose fish, nuts, or beans instead of beef; fruit, veggies, or nonfat/no-sugar-added yogurt instead of sweets; and 100% whole grains in place of white bread, white rice, and white pasta.
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    A answered
    Salmon and Supermarket
    For a sharp mind, go wild with fish. While fish is generally good for you, the metals that accumulate in farmed fish like tilapia may contribute to cognitive impairments. So when you're shopping, check that the fish is from the wild, not domestically raised, and stick with heart- and brain-healthy fish, such as salmon and sardines.
    Salmon and Supermarket
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    A answered
    Replace the olive oil in your favorite vinaigrette with walnut oil. Walnut oil, which is chock-full of brain-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, cuts brain inflammation, a precursor to many cognitive problems. It also keeps oxygen-rich blood flowing to your brain by thinning the blood slightly.
    
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    A answered
    Research shows that people who fast one day a week or month unlock a unique form of blood glucose that helps the brain more efficiently transmit information. Then break your fast with brain-healthy blueberries, walnuts and maybe a glass of red wine.