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We all know that the foods we eat can play a big role in our health — or lack of it. In fact, diet has been shown to have either a protective or a damaging effect based on our choices.
For a healthier life, we’re told to eat foods like:
- Walnuts, which have been shown to improve cholesterol
- Shellfish or leafy greens, which offer a forgotten mineral that guards against osteoporosis
- Whole grains to dash diabetes by more than 30 percent
While on the other hand, we have foods that can wreak havoc, like inflammatory foods, such as processed and fried foods, that have been shown to feed Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Now, there’s more evidence stacking up that when it comes to keeping your body — and especially your brain — at its best, what you eat counts.
And according to researchers from the University of Barcelona, there are eight foods that you should be including in your diet on a regular basis if you want to ward off cognitive impairment and dementia as you age.
Your brain is what you eat
You’ve heard the phrase, “you are what you eat.”
Well, in this case, it might be best to say that your brain is what you eat, or at least it only functions as well as it can, based on what you feed it.
And that’s exactly what those Barcelona researchers set out to prove.
Their study, published in the journal Molecular Nutrition and Food Research, followed 842 people over the age of 65 for a full 12 years, analyzing their diet and checking on how metabolites from certain foods, as well as the metabolism of foods rich in healthy compounds, related to dementia risk.
And what they found came down to this.
To avoid cognitive impairment and dementia, eating more plant-based foods is a must.
Specifically, the team discovered that metabolites derived from certain dietary choices create a protective effect against cognitive issues in the elderly. These include:
And they also found that the microbial metabolism (the breakdown of food by good bacteria in your gut) of polyphenol-rich foods offers the same protection. Ones that made the “to-eat” list are:
- Green tea
- Cocoa (this one made both lists, making it a true star)
However, not every food the team focused on was protective…
Avoid this “food” like it’s the plague
In fact, one option that the researchers specifically say to avoid is any food that contains saccharin — an artificial sweetener — since it was associated with damage and worse effects on cognition and dementia.
This is just one more nail in the coffin of artificial sweeteners, considering that they’ve already been linked to:
And those are just the tip of the iceberg. There are nine more health issues you could be experiencing due to fake sugars.
The message is clear: For better health and a better brain as you age, take your diet plant-based, including the foods on the “to-eat” list. And avoid artificial sweeteners like the plague they are.
Editor’s note: While you’re doing all the right things to protect your brain as you age, make sure you don’t make the mistake 38 million Americans do every day — by taking a drug that robs them of an essential brain nutrient! Click here to discover the truth about the Cholesterol Super-Brain!