Brain age and losing their cognitive abilities concern many people. Alzheimer’s disease and dementia both generate fear in many people, for good reason. They fear to lose what makes them themselves!
“Losing one’s memory or cognitive abilities is one of the biggest fears for people as they get older. Since declining cognitive ability is central to Alzheimer’s disease and dementias, increasing consumption of green leafy vegetables could offer a very simple, affordable and non-invasive way of potentially protecting your brain from Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.”
– Professor Martha Clare Morris, Nutritional Epidemiologist & Research Head
A relatively new study describes research presented at the American Society for Nutrition (ASN) Annual Meeting at Experimental Biology 2015 in Boston. It indicates that one small lifestyle change could theoretically reduce your brain age by 11 years.
What Are Early The Signs Of Dementia?
The earliest signs of dementia are on the list below. Of course, if one of these signs has been a lifelong constant, that doesn’t make it a sign of dementia. For example, if you’ve always had trouble managing financial tasks like balancing your checkbook, and it hasn’t gotten worse, it wouldn’t really apply here. It is when these signs are new and noticeable, or increasing in frequency that there is cause for concern. For more information about additional progressive signs, click here.
Your doctor can help you assess the degree of impairment if you have concerns about mental decline. Here at our Hong Kong clinic, we can do genetic testing to assess your risk levels, as well as helping you evaluate current symptoms and choose interventions in lifestyle and supplementation to help you reduce risk.
- forgetfulness and memory loss
- losing items without being able to retrace steps to find them
- confusion while driving
- trouble managing medications
- loss of concentration
- trouble managing financial tasks
How Do I Reduce My Brain Age?
The trick is simple: two servings per day of leafy vegetables.
The study tracked 954 older adults with an average age of 81 for about five years. They consistently found that people who ate just two servings per day of leafy vegetables had better cognitive abilities than those who ate none. The difference was equivalent to having a brain fully 11 years younger. The researchers believe that the nutrients most likely responsible for the boost were vitamin K, folate, beta-carotene, and lutein.
That makes a lot of sense to me. Among other tasks, folate is crucial to the folate cycle which is critical for detoxification. Vitamin K helps calcium get to the bones where it belongs, instead of building up in arteries and your brain (calcium in the brain is associated with both Parkinson’s and stroke).
Any Other Tips For Keeping My Brain Healthy?
Get plenty of omega-3 fats. There is evidence that the essential fatty acid ALA, supported by DHA found in these healthy fats may help prevent dementia and Alzheimer’s disease by reducing beta-amyloid plaques. Food sources include cold-water fish such as sardines, anchovies, salmon, tuna, trout, mackerel, as well as seaweed for those who choose a vegetarian or vegan diet. You can also supplement with fish oil.
There are “six pillars” to Alzheimer’s prevention:
- healthy diet
- regular exercise
- social engagement
- mental stimulation
- quality sleep
- stress reduction
That sounds like a sensible way to keep the brain (and body) healthy at any age.
If you are concerned about your brain age and think you may have issues developing with your cognitive abilities, it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor. In Hong Kong, call our clinic at (852) 2523 8044 to book your appointment.