Green tea: EGCG
Drinking green tea can go to your head. Building on research into green tea’s impact on the brain, including a study showing that drinking green tea enhanced the memory and attention of participants with mild cognitive impairments, a 2014 study showed that green tea extract increased connectivity between two areas of the brain, which improved the subjects’ abilities to complete working memory tasks.
New research has determined that the green tea compound known as EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate) interferes with the formation of toxic assemblies (oligomers), one of the prime suspects in the early steps that lead to cognitive decline in Alzheimer’s patients.
Antioxidant-packed blueberries, strawberries, and cranberries have been shown to improve brain function in animals. Eating folate- and antioxidant-rich green leafy vegetables and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli is also thought to slow the decline of brain function. Fruit and vegetable extracts of these powerful foods in greens powders are designed to be added to water or juice to boost our antioxidant protection against brain decline.
This powerfully anti-inflammatory compound found in turmeric, the spice that gives Indian curries their colour and flavour, has shown promise in reducing memory loss. In a recently published double-blind placebo-controlled study, a curcumin supplement improved memory and mood in people with mild, age-related memory loss.
DHA, or docosahexaenoic acid, is the main essential omega-3 fatty acid found in the brain. It’s potently anti-inflammatory and can be found in fish oil supplements. A study in mice with Alzheimer’s showed that DHA also slowed the build-up of brain-cell damaging substances, and some human studies show possible benefits.
A significant percentage of people over age 50 are unable to absorb B12 from food and are at risk of developing B12 deficiency. A deficiency in B12 can present as problems concentrating, mood swings, confusion, and even full-blown dementia, and can be prevented and reversed by supplementing with B12.