Please check out our new video “Aging Well- Mentally” on youtube channel ‘Healthy Flamingo’
Age is just a number and we are as old or as young as we feel! This is often easier said than implemented in our daily lives. In fact, often there are two groups of people – those who feel and act younger than their numerical age and those who are the opposite. Therefore, it is not surprising that these two groups will also have different perspectives and have completely different stories to retell about their intricate journey throughout life. In fact, there is now scientific research to support the notion that feeling younger can actually make us live longer :
When we feel younger, we are more likely to keep ourselves mentally and physically heightened with pursuing all those activities that promote health and fitness. In fact, our brains are very plastic and have a natural capacity to transform throughout life – not much different from a putty dough. We can truly shape it as we like! Also neuronal connections in our brain are constantly evolving and we would lose them if we did not use them or vice versa! We can always train our brains by trying new ideas, learning new skills, picking new hobbies, new languages and challenging ourselves with new activities. There are softwares and apps now available easily for such brain teasing exercises.
Additionally, to fuel our brain and promote its maximum functionality, we can consume superfoods! We constantly read so many articles on these superfoods and it can be difficult to summarize their benefits. We attempted to group the superfoods into three categories of improved brain blood flow, improved cognitive function and those that prevent against brain diseases:
- Increasing blood flow through the brain – All kinds of nuts, especially walnuts and avocados are rich in mono saturated fats and promote improved blood pressure and cholesterol regulation. Beets, a great source of nitrates and dark chocolates with their healthy dose of antioxidants – promote really good flow of blood through our brains, thus improving its function.
- Improving cognitive function – The first superfood in this category is water and it is a no-brainer because dehydration causes the brain to shrink and inevitably affects cognitive function. Olive oil is a great source of mono-saturated fats and has been found to slow down the brain’s process of aging. The super powers of mixed berries and fatty fish, rich in omega-3 acids, such as salmon and sardines, as well as green and leafy vegetables, such as spinach all improve cognitive function – namely, memory, focus and attention. Wheat germs and eggs, being an excellent source of the nutrient choline, also enhances memory. Choline is important for the body’s production of the brain’s neurotransmitter chemical, acetylcholine.
- Preventing brain diseases – Regularly drinking coffee has been linked to lower rates of depression. Also, fatty fish, rich in their omega-3 acids, has been shown to significantly reduce the risks of depression, especially, among women. Fatty fish, such as salmon and sardines, also reduce the risks for dementia. Additionally, cancer research has shown that consuming garlic regularly can prevent against brain cancer.