Decaffeinated Coffee 'Preserves Memory Function' In Those With Diabetes
If you rely on a daily fix of caffeine to kickstart your brain each morning, you might be interested to know that decaffeinated coffee could help preserve your memory function.
A study at Mount Sinai School of Medicine found that decaffeinated coffee improves the brain’s energy metabolism associated with Type 2 diabetes.
This is the first evidence to suggest decaffeinated coffee could be used for both preventing and treating cognitive decline caused by type 2 diabetes, ageing and neurodegenerative disorders.
When the brain has low levels of energy, the risks of dementia and other neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s disease, increase.
The discovery offers hope for those suffering from Type 2 diabetes, as the glucose levels in their brain are usually drastically reduced, resulting in neurocognitive problems.
American researchers investigated whether dietary supplements of decaffeinated coffee improved insulin resistance and glucose utilisation in mice suffering from diet-induced Type 2 diabetes. The mice were given this supplement for five months and their brain’s genetic response was monitored.
Researchers discovered that the brain was able to more effectively metabolise glucose and use it to energise the brain.
“Impaired energy metabolism in the brain is known to be tightly correlated with the cognitive decline during ageing and in subjects at high risks for developing neurodegenerative disorders,” says Dr. Giulio Maria Pasinett from the study.
“This is the first evidence showing the potential benefits of decaffeinated coffee preparations for both preventing and treating cognitive decline caused by type 2 diabetes, ageing, and/ or neurodegenerative disorders.”
An earlier study by Huazhong University of Science & Technology found that regular coffee with caffeine could also reduce the risk of diabetes, as the compounds in the coffee bean block toxic accumulation of a protein linked to Type 2 diabetes.
Avocados are a great source of 'healthy fats' as well as a good blood circulation booster. This is important when it comes to brain power, as it enhances the blood flow to the brain, maintaining healthy brain function.
The essential omega-3 fatty acids, found in oily fish like sardines, herring, trout and mackerel, as well as walnut oil and flaxseeds (linseeds) - are high in Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), a fatty acid crucial to maintaining a healthy nervous system. Low DHA levels have been linked to a higher risk of developing Alzheimer's disease and memory loss. Fish also contains iodine, which is known to improve mental clarity. For brain and heart health, eat two servings of fish weekly.
Whole grains improve circulation and help regulate glucose levels in the blood as the steadier the glucose levels, the easier it is to concentrate. This is why it's important to eat breakfast in the morning, as it not only revs up the metabolism, but keeps your sugar levels balanced as well as protecting against diabetes and heart disease.
Sugar is the brain's preferred fuel source, however before you reach for the table sugar, it's glucose that your body needs. The body metabolises glucose from the sugars and carbohydrates in food. That's why a glass of something sweet offers a short-term boost to memory, thinking processes, and mental ability. Too much sugar on the other hand, can result in impaired memory, so go easy on the sweet stuff and consume enough to boost your brain power.
Like sugar, caffeine perks up the brain but if you have too much, it can have negative effect on your mental state. Found in coffee, chocolate, energy drinks, and some medications, caffeine gives you that unmistakable wake-up feeling. But beware, the effects are short-term and if you overdo it, the brain can go into overdrive and make you more jittery than sharp thinking.
Nuts And Seeds
Nuts and seeds are great sources of antioxidant vitamin E, which is associated with less cognitive decline as you age. A good intake of vitamin E is linked to preventing poor memory. Nuts are a great source of vitamin E along with leafy green vegetables, seeds, eggs, brown rice and whole grains. Pumpkin seeds are especially good for boosting brain power, as a handful a day is all you need to get your recommended daily amount of zinc, vital for enhancing memory and thinking skills.
Blueberries and strawberries contain antioxidants, which are thought to protect brain neurons from damage, build communication receptors between each brain cell, and flush out waste. They also help protect against age-related diseases like Alzheimer's. Blackberries are also a great brain booster, as it contains Vitamin C which has long been thought to have the power to increase mental agility.
An unlikely contender, the humble sage has long had a reputation for improving memory. Although its recommended to try sage oils, try and sprinkle some sage into your diet.
Folic acid and vitamin B12 help prevent homocysteine from building up in the body, which is higher in those with Alzheimer's. Vitamin B, C, E, beta-carotene, and magnesium are also good vitamins to stock up on when looking to boost brain power.
Tomato's contain lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that helps protect against the kind of free radical damage to cells which occurs in the development of dementia, particularly Alzheimer's.
A great source of vitamin K, broccoli which is known to enhance cognitive function and improve brainpower.