Fruits, Veggies & Nuts Are Smart

Until about 40 years ago, scientists assumed the quantity of brain neurons naturally decreased with age. Researchers have since determined that your body is capable of producing more brain stem cells a process known as neurogenesis and fine-tuning your diet can boost this capacity. A recent study is published in the December issue of the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease.

Over a period of 40 days, which to lab mice equals about 5 human years, a group of rodents fed a natural combination of foods rich in antioxidant polyphenols and polyunsaturated fats not only produced significantly more brain stem cells than a control group but resisted oxidative damage to existing cells.

The Bigger Picture: Polyphenols are found in tea, grapes, olive oil, cocoa, nuts and many fruits. Getting some cold water fish in your diet is a great way to feed your brain's regenerative powers with polyunsaturated fatty acids, also known as Omega-3s. Fish Oil supplements can help in a similar way. So can Flaxseed Oil, which is a rich source of the ALA type Omega-3 fatty acid found in many nuts.
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