Food for Thought Essay

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The aging brain can play host to numerous neurological diseases. While some can be brought about due to genetic predisposition, nutrition plays an important roll in the development and eventual aging of the brain. In fact, the brain shrinks and can lose 5-10% of its weight with age. According to the Framington Offspring Cohort Study; smoking, diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity can accelerate brain shrinkage. While good diet choices and exercise can slow the effects of aging on the brain. Different vitamins and minerals support cell growth, blood flow, and control inflammation. Nuts are rich in many of these areas. According to the FDA, “Scientific evidence suggests but does not prove that eating 1.5 ounces per day of most nuts,…show more content…
According to a study by the University of Reading, Flavonoid-rich foods are highly effective at reversing age-related deficits in spatial memory and the enhancement of different aspects of synaptic plasticity. Gingko biloba boost blood-flow to the brain, and can help destroy free radicals. It can also protect brain cells from premature death. One study showed that long term Gingko use could improve selective attention and long-term verbal and non-verbal memory. Recent studies, however, have supplied mixed results in the prevention of Alzheimer’s. Blueberries have been shown to improve both spatial memory and BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor) signaling in young and old animals. In particular, a new study has shown marked improvements in spatial working memory in aged animals using pure flavanol monomers like those found in blueberries. These studies suggest that it is the flavonoids that are responsible for the increase. Getting the optimal use of food intake is difficult, especially in the elderly where appetite is lessened. Vitamins and minerals are best taken from a person’s diet, but that can be difficult for a variety of reasons. Supplementing certain hard-to-get vitamins can be an essential part of ensuring a healthy brain. A clinical trial of 334 Alzheimer’s patients by Stanford University found that Acetyl-L-Carnitine helps slow the progression of the disease. This amino acid is one of the most important energy transports in the body. The body can

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