Earlier today, I filmed a series of short educational videos about the role of nutrition for optimal brain health. We talked about cognitive aging, did some myth busting about what happens to the brain as we age, how to protect the brain with the fork, and more. Here are five tidbits from the sessions.
- Minor changes in short-term memory, like forgetting the name of someone you just met, are considered a natural part of aging, but bigger declines are not.
- Think getting older is equivalent to cognitive decline across the board? Myth busted. Actually, some parts improve. Words may come slower, but vocabulary can get better and better. Here’s what else can improve: higher functions like reasoning, and how efficient we are in filtering through extra information in order to focus on what’s most important.
- Each of us has the power to slow age-related cognitive decline by what we put on our plates. The MIND diet is one approach that’s clinically shown to be neuroprotective.
- The Global Council on Brain Health has identified six pillars of brain health: Be social; engage your brain; manage stress; exercise regularly; get restorative sleep; and eat right.
- There’s no substitute for a healthy balanced diet. It is a cornerstone of healthy living and healthy aging. But changes in nutrient absorption, for example due to gut health or medications, can sometimes make it hard to get everything we need from food alone. That’s when reputable supplements may have a role to play. I prefer a multi over mega-doses of single nutrients. The data is mixed on single-nutrients, anyway. (One exception may be vitamin D).
Have questions or want to know more about any of the topics above? Let me know in the comments.