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          Foods to Boost Your Brainpower

          April 01, 2010

          Liz Vaccariello, editor-in-chief of Prevention magazine, shares the foods you should eat to boost your brainpower.

            Fish Fatty fish, like sardines, tuna and wild salmon, contain Omega-3 fatty acids that brains need. Eating fish can help keep your mind in top form and lower your risk of dementia. If you don’t like fish, you can take fish oil supplements.

            Green, Leafy Vegetables These veggies, along with vegetables like cauliflower and broccoli in particular, contain antioxidants. A Harvard study found that if you eat these, they lowered your brain age one to two years.

            Avocados, Olive Oil, Nuts and Seeds These are full of vitamin E, which is an antioxidant. A diet rich in these foods can lower your risk of Alzheimer’s disease 67 percent, because of the vitamin E.

          Dark Chocolate Dark chocolate contains flavonoids, another powerful class of antioxidants. Dark chocolate should be consumed in moderation " about one ounce a day. "It's going to be wonderful for your brain health and your happiness," Liz says.

          Berries "Berries are antioxidant powerhouses, and scientists are not sure why they are so special, but they think they actually create new connections between our brain cells," Liz explains.

            Whole Grains These have numerous positive benefits. In terms of brain health, they help keep blood sugar stable. "Our brain feeds on glucose, so if we keep our blood sugar steady throughout the day, which oatmeal, brown rice and those things do, our brains are going to function more optimally," Liz explains.

            Water It's important to drink plenty of water. "People who are well-hydrated perform better on all sorts of brain tests," Liz says.

          Red Wine It makes your brain healthy. Studies show that people who had one to six drinks per week had 54 percent lower risk of dementia. If you have a history of breast cancer or risk there, talk to your doctor before you add alcohol to your life.

          Caffeine In moderation, caffeine has a number of benefits to brain health, concentration and energy. You want to aim between 300 and 400 milligrams per day in caffeine. That's about three or four cups of coffee.

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