Keeping Your Wits About You

Cognitive decline in advancing years is a very real issue. But there appears to be some basic, easy-to-follow practices you can put in place to help ward off old age brain drain. A study of 3,000 men aged 40 to 79 published in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry found that those with higher levels of vitamin D derived from exposure to sunshine and consumption of cold water fish consistently performed better at neuropsychological tests than subjects with lower vitamin D levels. The relationship between vitamin D and faster information processing was even more pronounced in subjects aged 60+ years.

The Bigger Picture: Getting outside and working in the yard or garden is a great way to enjoy the benefits of low to moderate intensity exercise while getting a daily dose of vitamin D from ultraviolet rays. Just be careful not to overdo your exposure. It's best to restrict your sunshine time to early morning and later afternoon, when the sun isn't at its peak. Afterward, cook up some salmon filets on the grill or, if you aren't exactly a seafood aficionado, supplement your healthy balanced diet with fish oil softgels.
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