Experts have found that although you can't stop the natural aging process of your brain, you can adjust your lifestyle to help slow the process down. These changes would include things like getting good quality sleep, engaging in regular movement, and eating healthy food.
We talked with Lauren Manaker, MS, RDN, author of The First Time Mom's Pregnancy Cookbook and Fueling Male Fertility, and a member of our medical expert board, about the eating habits that may actually be aging your brain faster without you even realizing it. Here's what to avoid for better brain health, and for more healthy aging tips, make sure to check out Health Habits That Age You Faster.
You skimp on your fruit intake.
Manaker says that when it comes to caring for your brain health, making sure that you're eating enough natural fruit every day is imperative.
"Fruits like blueberries contain compounds that help support brain health," says Manaker. "In fact, data shows that when a diet was supplemented with blueberries daily for 90 days, people showed fewer errors in tests used to assess verbal memory and task switching vs. those who didn't include a daily dose of these berries."
You don't eat fish regularly.
Fish is another key food for a healthy brain, so Manaker suggests incorporating it on a daily basis.
"Experts recommend that most adults eat around 8 ounces of fish per week," she says. "A meta-analysis found that eating fish regularly was linked to a 20% reduced risk for Alzheimer's type dementia."
Another review from Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience notes that omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (which are found in fish) have important neuroprotective factors and can help treat certain neurological disorders.
You remove the egg yolks from your eggs.
Before you skip on the egg yolk and reach for the egg whites, you may want to think twice.
"Egg yolks are one of the richest sources of choline, a nutrient that plays a positive role in brain health," says Manaker. "So skip the egg white omelet and eat the yolk. Not only will you get your choline, but you will also get many other important nutrients, like lutein and vitamin D."
You're not getting your daily dose of walnuts.
Interestingly enough, one of the best foods you can eat for your aging brain is walnuts.
"Data shows that walnuts might delay cognitive decline in subgroups at higher risk," says Manaker. "Adding walnuts to your daily oatmeal or enjoying them as a snack may help keep your brain health in check."
For more healthy aging tips, read these next: