Dr. David Perlmutter, co-author of The Better Brain Book, says that we need to pay more attention to our brains as we age. "Everyone's so concerned with their wrinkles and what their face looks like, but nobody's really paying attention to keeping their mind in shape. "
You must exercise to keep your mind as strong as your body. "Each morning pick a card. Try to remember that number at lunchtime and once again at dinner," Dr. Perlmutter says. "Adding a new card each day is like adding more weight to your barbell, making your brain stronger."
Ask your doctor to test your blood for homocystine, an amino acid that can accumulate in the blood and can damage the brain. "Low levels of homocystine are good," Dr. Perlmutter says. "High levels are associated with increased risk for Alzheimer's disease, heart disease, stroke and even osteoporosis." An easy way to lower homocystine levels is with B vitamins from a health food store. He also warns about the negatives of taking an antacid. "Many people are taking antacid medications and the problem is that when they block stomach acid, they block the absorption of B-12 and that can damage the brain."
Dr. Perlmutter recommends some other means to strengthen your mind:
- Take a fish oil supplement
- Take Vitamin E and C
- Get a good night's rest
- Three servings of fish (especially wild salmon, whitefish, tilapia, freshwater fish, catfish, flounder and mahi-mahi) per week, for artery-clearing omega-3 fatty acids
- One ounce of nuts per day, for monounsaturated fats that stabilize serotonin and boost your mood One ounce of real chocolate, to increase dopamine and just make you feel better
- Learn more about super foods from Dr. Oz and Dr. Roizen