There’s no question about it: Loss of mental ability looms large on the list of health worries, right up there with heart disease and cancer. As the baby boomers age, all three of these chronic conditions are becoming increasingly prevalent. Although there are effective medical treatments for heart disease, and even for certain cancers, those for dementia leave a lot to be desired. Doctors have very little to offer for preventing ordinary cognitive decline, but exercise, social interaction, and diet can be very helpful. What should you eat to keep your brain sharp?
I’ve heard that blueberries have a beneficial effect on the brain. Can you tell me more about this? Is the research recent and credible?
James Joseph at Tufts University is a leading neuroscientist and expert on the effects of berries on brain function. His studies on both aging rodents and humans have demonstrated cognitive benefits from blueberries. We think his research is highly credible.1 Dr. Joseph recommends frozen berries as an economical way to get the antioxidant potential of this fruit.
I keep reading that eating fish is good for your heart, your brain, and just about everything else. I am not fond of fish, so I have started taking fish oil capsules. A friend says fish oil is contaminated with mercury. I hate to think I’m slowly poisoning myself by trying to improve my health.
The FDA cautions that large fish (shark, swordfish, king mackerel, and tilefish) may be contaminated with mercury. Tests of fish oil capsules, however, have not revealed mercury. For more details on one such analysis, check out www.consumerlab.com.
Joe Graedon & Terry Graedon, The People’s Pharmacy: Quick & Handy Home Remedies, published by National Geographic