One of the major factors in determining the quality of long-term health in humans is food. As the old saying goes, you are what you eat. In addition to positively affecting your overall quality of life, recent research indicates that certain foods might help to undo the ravages of aging.
An Energy Boost using… Water?
According to researchers from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, foods with nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN) could keep the body feeling relatively young. In a study published in the journal Cell Metabolism, this team provided old mice with water laced with NMN. Upon drinking these spiced-up water samples, the mice enjoyed increases in both metabolism and energy reserves.
Younger mice likewise received NMN-fueled water. Unlike their older counterparts, however, these rodents did not appear to benefit from this experiment. The authors surmise that this lack of a response might be due to the mices’ age; in other words, younger mice don’t actually need a boost of NMN, as their bodies already have enough of it.
At your local grocery store, you could find NMN in avocados, broccoli, cabbage, edamame, and cucumbers. However, it should be stressed that the mice used in this study were given a large concentration of NMN – far greater than what is found in vegetables. Regardless, study author Shin- ichiro Imai notes that “eating these veggies might have some accumulative effect on the neuro-body connection.”
Grocery Store Options
Aside from affecting the body, aging also attacks the ol’ noggin. Listed below are some common foods that might help you preserve your mental health as you age.
Blueberries: One study found that blueberries could dramatically reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s. Blueberries are a good source of a type of antioxidant called flavonoids, which work to prevent oxidative stress from damaging the brain.
Egg Yolks: Egg yolks are high in choline, a vitamin which the brain use to facilitates brain cell communication and preserve memories.
Olive Oil: A study issued by Temple University determined that extra virgin olive oil could not only help preserve memory recall, but also work to fend off two Alzheimer’s markers (amyloid-beta plaques and neurofibrillary tangles).
Walnuts: You might consider picking up some walnuts during your next grocery trip. Walnuts are brimming with alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which one study found helped maintain cognitive function in older adults.