International Blog Spotlight: Greece

BRAIN FITNESS DIET

Dr. Maria Psoma, medical Biopathologist

Can we reverse “brain aging” with nutrition and healthy lifestyle?

I was reading some studies from UCLA, which motivated me to further explore the question. It is a clinically proven fact that as we age, we experience cognitive decline: for some, the deterioration can continue until the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. When people reach the age of 85, statistics indicate that there is a 45% chance of this.

I was primarily reading research that focused on supplements, including high quality omega 3 fatty acids , Q10, B12, melatonin, and D3: combined with changes in nutrition and exercise.

Results were impressive; no medicine or pharmaceutical drug demonstrated the same success as nutrition and lifestyle changes. Clinical results showed improvement even among people in their 80s.

Another research conducted at Rush University, which included 900 participants between the ages of 58-98, followed the subjects for 4.5 years.

Three different nutrition interventions were implemented: the Mediterranean diet, DASH diet, and a combination called ”Brain Diet”.

The researchers investigated the influence of the diets in terms of prevention for Alzheimer’s, in addition to an evaluation of factors including age, sex, education, cardiological factors, and levels of physical activity.

The best results were from the ‘brain diet,’ with prevention percentages as high as 52%. The Mediterranean and DASH Diet had results between 35-405.

The basic ingredients of a healthy ‘brain diet:’

  1. Green leafy vegetables
  2. Raw nuts
  3. Berries (polyphenols)
  4. Beans
  5. Unprocessed cereals
  6. Fish
  7. Free range poultry
  8. Olive oil
  9. Red wine (resveratrol)

Foods that harm brain function:

  1. Sugar
  2. Red meat
  3. Saturated fat
  4. Fried foods

General Instructions of healthy lifestyle and nutrition practices:

—Limit simple carbohydrates (white flour, pasta) and any processed foods
—Consume unlimited fresh, colorful vegetables that are rich in antioxidants, in addition to fruits and fish
—Find time for yourself at least twice a day (yoga & breathing exercises can be beneficial)
—Sleep 7-8 hours per night, or at least 5 hours of quality, non-interrupted sleep
—Take the proper supplements after medical history & specific laboratory exams
—Care for your oral hygiene
—Engage in regular physical activity for at least 30 minutes, 3-4 times per week

Dr. Maria Psoma is a biopathologist with a PhD from the University of Athens. She is a Fellow and Board Certified in Anti-Aging Medicine, and a member of both the American Obesity Society & the International Society of Nutrigenomics.

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