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4 Tips for Nutrition and Cognitive Health

To help preserve mental function and protect against age-related cognitive decline consider implementing these healthy lifestyle, nutrition and supplement choices:

  1. Eat an anti-inflammatory diet. It helps prevent inappropriate inflammation and counters the damage from oxidative stress, which may be linked to Alzheimer's disease. Focus on antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables, foods rich in vitamins C and E, omega-3 fatty acids, and the spices turmeric and ginger. My Anti-Inflammatory Food Pyramid has more information and specific recommendations.
  2. Eat berries. Blueberries in particular may improve motor skills and help reverse age-related short-term memory loss, and may also protect the brain from stroke damage.
  3. Use cooking methods that limit inflammation. Cook at lower temperatures to avoid the formation of AGEs (advanced glycation end products) which have been linked to Alzheimer's disease, and avoid cooking methods that require excessive fat, such as deep frying.
  4. Focus on fish. Wild Alaskan salmon, sardines, herring and black cod are excellent sources of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids, yet are relatively low in potential environmental toxins. Diets rich in fish have been shown to help alleviate depression and other mental-health issues.


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Reader Comments (5)

Hi Dr. Weil,

I'm allergic to seafood...what is the next best thing for getting my omega-3's?

December 4, 2009 | Unregistered Commentertlsintx

Dr. Weil says:Other dietary sources of omega-3s include walnuts, flaxseeds and hemp seeds - and the oils extracted from them - as well as soy and canola oils and specially fortified eggs. If you're eating three ounces of fish two to three times a week, as I recommend, snacking on walnuts and adding freshly ground flaxseeds to cereals and salads you're probably getting enough omega 3s. A 3-ounce serving of Alaskan salmon or herring contains about 2 grams of omega-3 fatty acids, while 3 ounces of sardines has about 1.3 grams. You can substitute one ounce of walnuts for a serving of fish, or add a tablespoon or two of freshly ground flaxseeds or hemp oil to your diet. These plant sources provide you with alpha linolenic acid, which the body converts to the omega-3s the body needs.

December 4, 2009 | Unregistered

thank you!

December 4, 2009 | Unregistered Commentertlsintx

Is there a difference between smoked salomon fish and normal salomon?

December 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterPiotr Kołodziej

The real and important difference is between wild caught and farmed. Wild caught is the better choice.
To answer the 'normal" salmon is simply smoked and cured.

December 14, 2009 | Unregistered

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