As you age, your brain may shrink. That’s a serious development. A shrunken brain shrinks your thinking abilities and makes it more likely you’ll suffer memory problems. Fortunately, you can boost your chances of keeping your brain bigger and stronger by making simple changes to your diet.
A study at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland shows that consuming more omega-3 fats (in oily fish like sardines and salmon) along with vitamins C, D and E and the B vitamins, can improve your chances of staying smarter as you get older. On the other hand, eating foods with trans fats (found mostly in packaged, fast, fried and frozen food, baked goods and margarine spreads) makes it more likely your brain will contract and diminish your mental faculties.
The study involved 104 people with an average age of 87 and very few risk factors for memory and thinking problems. Blood tests were used to determine the levels of various nutrients present in the blood of each participant. All of the participants took tests of their memory and thinking skills. A total of 42 of the participants had MRI scans to measure their brain volume.
Overall, the participants had good nutritional status, but 7 percent were deficient in vitamin B12 and 25 percent were deficient in vitamin D.