If you eat mushrooms several times a week, you’ll have a lower risk of mild cognitive impairment (MCI), a memory disorder that is often a prelude to Alzheimer’s disease. Previous research has shown this, but now a recently published study from Singapore corroborates it.
To see if mushrooms really have that protective effect, researchers interviewed 663 men and women of Chinese origin over the age of 60. They were asked questions about their diet and consumption of six types of mushrooms typical of the area. They were then subjected to several tests on mental acuity. Discarding other data that could influence the results, the study concluded that “people who consumed the most mushrooms (more than two 30-g servings per week) had a 52 percent lower risk of developing MCI than those who ate the least mushrooms (less than 6 grams per week on average). Even those who ate no more than two servings per week had almost half the risk!
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In addition to mushrooms, these other foods have also been scientifically proven to help preserve memory:
- Bluefish. Their omega-3-rich fats DHA and EPA are always at the top of lists of nutrients that prevent brain deterioration, both in memory and in mood and behavior.
- Coffee and tea. The antioxidants and caffeine they contain have been shown to improve concentration, mood, and memory.
- Turmeric. This orange spice present in curry has a clear anti-inflammatory effect and the ability to act directly on areas of the brain where memory resides.
- Dark chocolate is is rich in cocoa. In addition to improving mood, its antioxidants promote the development of new neurons and blood vessels in brain areas related to memory and learning.
- Dried fruits. Rich in beneficial fats, antioxidants and vitamin E, they protect against free radicals that cause neuronal deterioration and memory loss.
- Blueberries, blackberries and other berries. Rich in antioxidant pigments with an anti-inflammatory effect, they improve communication between neurons and enhance memory.
- Avocados. Rich in monounsaturated fats (like those in EVOO), not only improve arterial health but also help prevent brain deterioration.
- Peanuts. They are a legume, not a nut, but their unsaturated fats, vitamins and minerals and resveratrol (known as “the molecule of longevity”) protect against neuronal inflammation and loss of brain capacity.
- Eggs. Many experts call them “food for the brain,” especially because of their content of choline, folate and B vitamins, which help improve memory.
- Vegetables in the cabbage family – broccoli, collard greens, bok choy, brussels sprouts, turnip greens – contain vitamin C and other anti-inflammatory substances that help reduce the risk of brain damage.
As a general hint, foods that prevent memory loss contain antioxidants (such as vitamin E or flavonoids), B vitamins, healthy fats (such as monounsaturated fats) and Omega-3 fatty acids.
5 habits that prevent memory loss:
- Get enough sleep (7-8 hours a day).
- Stay well hydrated.
- Get at least 45 minutes of exercise a day (better outdoors).
- Avoid stress (yoga, deep breathing and mindfulness help).
- Do not abuse alcohol.