The claim: Higher blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B, vitamin C, vitamin D and vitamin E are associated with better mental functioning in the elderly, a new study has found. The research study came out of Oregon Health and Science University (where I completed my dietetic internship) with the lead author being Dr. Bowman, a researcher in neurology. The study was based on around 200 men and women all averaging the age of 87 and controlled for any confounding factors.
The researchers found that those with the highest blood levels of the four vitamins scored higher on the cognitive tests and had larger brain volumes than those with the lowest levels. Omega-3 levels were linked to better cognitive function and healthier blood vessels in the brain, but not to higher brain volume. The study assumes that this healthier source of fat may be beneficial for brain health but by different means than the four vitamins.
I believe that one of the best outcomes of the study that can support a controversial topic is how it showed that trans-fats were significantly associated with impaired mental ability and smaller brain volume. Another one in the books for those who advocate against trans-fat consumption.
Want to keep just as sharp into your eighties? Take a bite out of these foods.
B-Vitamins- Fortified breads and cereals, fish, beans, and lean meats.
Vitamin C- Citrus fruits, strawberries, bell peppers, broccoli, and sweet potatoes
Vitamin D- Mushrooms, eggs, cold-water fatty fish such as salmon, and Vitamin-D fortified milks.
Vitamin E- Leafy green vegetable such spinach and chard, turnip greens, almonds, sunflower seeds, asparagus, bell peppers, corn, and olives
Omega-3s- Salmon, walnuts, chia and flax seeds, and sardines
Example: Healthy Brain Shake
– 1 cup frozen strawberries
– 1/2 cup Vitamin D fortified milk or soymilk
– 1 cup spinach
– 1 clementine or splash orange juice
– 1 tablespoon chia seeds or flax
– 1 cup ice