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For Better Health – Feed Your Brain

August 6, 2010

Brain Health is essential for quality of life as we age

  As retired teachers we are always looking for different ways to improve our quality of life.  From time to time I will be posting health related topics of (hopefully) interest to our HSTA-R ohana.                       Feed Your Brain

Brain health should be at the top of your list of health and wellness priorities; after all, you can live without a kidney, spleen, teeth, hair andother assorted elements of your body, but without a brain – well, there’s notmuch you can do after that. And you can’t get a brain transplant (at least notyet), as you can with other organs and appendages, which means it’s your job tofind ways to keep your brain as fit as possible for as long as possible. Hereare three brain-friendly nutrients to keep in mind as part of your daily diet:

Omega-3 fatty acids are associated with various health benefits; with respect to the brain, DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) is the major polyunsaturated fatty acid found in the brain and is linked to brain development and function. Good sourcesof omega-3s include seafood (especially cold-water fish) and supplements; manufacturers also have begun adding DHA to some dairy products.

 Choline, a water-soluble B vitamin, is a chemical building block of every cell in the body; that makes it a pretty important nutrient. Evidence suggests choline may improve memory and protect against senility in old age. Good sourcesof choline include egg yolks, skim milk, soybeans and lentils.

Folic acid, otherwise known as vitamin B9, is well-known for its effect on fetaldevelopment: adequate daily folic acid intake can reduce the risk of birthdefects such as cleft palate/lip. It’s also great for improving cognitivefunction (your ability to think clearly and remember things), suggesting it mayhelp protect against the development of Alzheimer’s. Spinach, asparagus andavocado are all good sources of folic acid; many cereals are also fortified withB9, and it is a staple of many daily multivitamin supplements.

 For more information, go to http://www.toyourhealth.com/mpacms/tyh/article.php?

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