Thoughts on Better Aging

Brain Food: What to Eat to Support Brain Health After Menopause

December 24th, 2014

Proper diet and balanced hormones can play an important role in promoting brain health.

It starts with a few little lapses here and there…maybe you are more prone to forgetting names or losing your train of thought now that you’ve entered menopause. You might be feeling frightened by the way your brain seems to be turning against you—and rightfully so. The good news is that a growing body of research is pointing to concrete ways you can help protect the health of your brain as you age. Strategies include balancing your hormones and eating a healthy diet full of the following brain-boosting nutrients.

B-Complex Vitamins: Research suggests that the B-complex vitamins can help protect against brain shrinkage. Some reduction in brain volume is natural in aging individuals, but it appears that the greater the reduction the greater the risk of developing Alzheimer’s or other types of age-related dementia. Boosting vitamin B-12 in particular is believed to make individuals less prone to age-related memory decline. Beans and green peas are both excellent natural sources of B vitamins. B-complex vitamins can also be found in fortified breakfast cereals.

Vitamin C: The antioxidant vitamin C has many health benefits, including promoting healthy blood vessel function. This helps ensure an adequate supply of blood to the brain which is important since low blood flow has been linked to dementia. Vitamin C may also help fight brain plaque, also linked to dementia. Top sources of vitamin C include citrus fruits and sweet peppers.

Vitamin E: Healthy levels of vitamin E also help support healthy blood vessels, and research has shown that individuals with high blood levels of vitamin E are less likely to develop Alzheimer’s. Healthy vitamin E may also help slow the progression of the disease if it does develop. Add vitamin E to your diet with a handful of almonds or a slice of avocado.

Omega 3 Acids: According to research from UCLA, individuals with low omega 3 levels are likely to have greater brain shrinkage and reduced memory function. To keep your omega 3 acid levels high and your memory strong, eat cold water fish like salmon, cod, and herring.

Flavonoids: Individuals who develop Alzheimer’s suffer from a buildup of brain plaques, but flavonoid compounds have been shown to slow the rate at which these plaques form. The best source of flavonoids for promoting a healthy brain after menopause is spinach. This leafy green contains at least 15 different flavonoid compounds.

What About Hormones?

Hormonal balance also has an important role to play in keeping brain and memory function strong as you age. Both estrogen and progesterone are neurotransmitters that affect portions of the brain associated with memory. Estrogen also helps ensure blood vessels in the brain dilate properly and provide sufficient blood flow. When estrogen and progesterone levels decline at menopause, memory problems may naturally result.

In addition to adding brain-boosting nutrients to your diet, it would be wise to have your hormone levels tested and any imbalances treated in order to preserve healthy brain and memory function as you age. Contact Renew Woman™ today to get paired with a specialist in your area who can provide the necessary hormone testing and help you explore options for keeping your hormones in balance.

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