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Best Foods for Over-40 Brains

DIETARY CHANGES TO KEEP YOU IN SHAPE.

It’s no secret that as you age, some things need more attention. For example, you probably already know that you need to take better care of your heart, your weight and even your erection. Well, you also need to make sure you’re taking good care of your brain. There are many ways to do this, but one key strategy is to make sure you’re eating right. The right brain foods can keep you sharp as you enter your 40s. So we asked experts what you should eat to keep your noggin strong. So we asked experts what you should eat to keep your noggin strong. And we’ve got some other interesting brain foods for you.

Wild Salmon

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A four-ounce serving of salmon contains about 2,000 milligrams of DHA and EPA, two essential fatty acids that serve as oil for brain material. Try to eat at least two servings of oily fish a week, advises dietitian Joan Salge Blake, author of Nutrition and You.

Blueberries

Think of blueberries as a dust buster for your gray matter. They’re packed with antioxidants that neutralize the free radicals that cause neuronal failure. Eat one cup of fresh or frozen blueberries a day, says dietitian Suzanne Farrell of Cherry Creek Nutrition in Denver. And as a bonus, blueberries do wonders for your libido.

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Green or black tea

Catechin, an antioxidant found in tea, promotes blood flow, which boosts brainpower by improving memory, mood and concentration. Drink one cup of freshly brewed tea a day, hot or iced. Bottled teas do not have the same effect.

Whole grains

The brain is a furnace that needs a constant supply of fuel (in the form of glucose) to function. Fiber-rich whole grains ensure a steady flow, and their B vitamins nourish the nervous system. Oats (which are also one of the best heart foods), brown rice and whole-grain breads are the best choices, Blake says.

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Kidney beans

Kidney beans are protein-rich complex carbohydrates that stabilize blood sugar levels and provide constant energy to the brain. While any type of bean will do, kidney beans contain more omega-3s. Aim for half a cup a day, Blake says. And here are some other foods you should eat as you age.

Almonds

Eat an ounce of almonds a day to fill up on vitamin E, low levels of which are associated with poor memory performance and cognitive decline, says dietitian Sari Greaves, creator of the inVok energy drink.
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Dairy

Milk and plain yogurt are packed with protein and B vitamins, and they have a low glycemic index, which means they provide a steady stream of energy to the brain. Aim for three servings a day of low-fat or fat-free dairy products, says Greaves.

Avocado

Loaded with monosaturated fats, avocados increase blood flow to the brain, which improves cognitive function. Eat a quarter cup twice a week, Greaves says.
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Dark chocolate

Flavonoids, a natural nutrient in cocoa, improve blood flow to the brain, which helps boost cognitive function. The caffeine in chocolate also promotes concentration. To get all of these benefits, consume one ounce of dark chocolate a day, Greaves says. The good news is that chocolate is also good for your heart.

Turmeric

Curcumin, the main ingredient in turmeric, improves cognitive function, according to several studies. Use turmeric to spice up lean meats instead of salt. It also works well with vegetables, rice and salad dressings.

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