Center in Chicago. Spinach sautéed in olive oil
may be the ultimate brain food. Serve it with
fish and a glass of red wine.
“A number of long-term studies show
the consumption of fish prevents cognitive
decline,” says Morris. Fish oil supplements
containing omega- 3 fatty acids may be beneficial as well. Studies show they increase
brain volume and cognitive functioning,
and decrease mental fatigue.
When it comes to dementia prevention,
moderate wine consumption—one glass daily
for women, two for men—is better than none
at all, says Morris. Just don’t drink too much.
Excessive alcohol use is associated with
decreased brain volume and memory loss.
A number of other nutrients may have
bio-protective effects. Mounting evidence
suggests carotenoids—substances found in
colorful fruits and vegetables such as carrots,
tomatoes and mangoes—may be beneficial,
says Morris. Aim to eat a rainbow every day.
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 31
The Costco Connection
Costco members will find brain-tuning
foods, fitness equipment and DVDs,
books, games and musical equipment at
their local Costco and on Costco.com.
Moving the body also maintains the
mind. Formerly sedentary adults who engaged
in three 40-minute aerobic exercise sessions
increases blood flow
to the brain and decreases
your risk of stroke.
each week increased their brain volume in
areas related to attention and memory during
a study by researchers at the University of
Illinois. Stretching and toning exercises didn’t
have the same benefits.
Cardiovascular exercise increases blood
flow to the brain and decreases your risk of
stroke. That’s important. Vascular damage is
the second most common cause of dementia.
(Alzheimer’s disease is No. 1.)
“Damage to the small blood vessels in the
brain can lead to cognitive decline even if you
don’t have a stroke,” says Wright. A healthy
circulatory system supplies nutrients to the
brain and removes waste products.
Choose an enjoyable activity that allows
you to hit and sustain your target heart rate,
Wright advises. Walking at a brisk pace may
be enough. Make exercise a social event if
possible. You’ll be more likely to stick to your
workout plan, and people who stay active
socially have better mental acuity.
Mind your emotions
Don’t neglect your mental health. “Even
mild depression can affect your cognitive
functioning in a negative way,” says Wright.
Stress and anxiety create mental clutter and
prompt the release of stress-related chemicals,
such as cortisol. Chronically high levels of
cortisol can cause damage to the hippocampus, a part of the brain responsible for learning and memory. The good news? Studies
show some memory impairment is reversible.
Build your coping skills so you feel well
emotionally and physically. Exercise and
adequate sleep, along with massage, meditation and spiritual practice, can help you
handle stress effectively. Your brain health
depends on it. C
Costco member Heidi Smith Luedtke
writes about health, self-improvement and
Terry Mah, RPh
Costco Pharmacist / Burbank, CA
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WAREHOUSE/ COSTCO.COM | AVAILABLE NOW
32 ;e Costco Connection JUNE 2012