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“Foods to Enhance Brain Power”

Over five million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease (AD) or some other form of dementia and one in three seniors dies with (not necessarily from) Alzheimer’s disease or other types of dementia.  Although you cannot buy a bottle of “brain food,’ you can choose foods known to improve cognition and improve brain function.  Many false claims have been rampant with articles pushing the notion that this can be achieved with coffee, cocoa, water, antioxidants, etc.  But, please do not accept a flamboyant, so-called medical headline.  Still, some experts believe food is a very effective and underutilized intervention in mental health.  Get patients off of processed foods, off of white carbohydrates, and off of certain vegetable oils.  Diet seems to be as important to psychiatry as it is to cardiology, endocrinology, and gastroenterology.  Leafy greens such as kale, spinach, collards, and broccoli are rich in important nutrients—including vitamin K, lutein, folate, and beta carotene—that keep the brain healthy and are linked to slower cognitive decline.  Fatty fish—like salmon, mackerel, herring, lake trout, sardines, and albacore tuna—are an abundant source of omega-3 fatty acids, particularly docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), a key to brain maintenance.

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