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This 1 Vegetable Could Prevent Memory Loss and Alzheimer’s!

By on September 5, 2013
For most people, losing your mental sharpness is just a fact of getting old–and it’s usually something you can’t prevent. But one key vitamin may reduce the progression of age-related memory loss, according to recent research–and you can get it from a vegetable you normally eat with your pizza.

The research? According to one Australian scientist, just four button mushrooms contain your recommended daily allowance of vitamin D, an antioxidant that could save your brain.

“Button mushrooms need two hours unwrapped on a plate in the midday summer sun–a bit longer in winter–to get the vitamin D boost,” says Rebecca Mason, the head of physiology at Sydney Medical School in Australia. “Placing the mushrooms a couple of extra hours in the shade will allow time for the full chemical reaction.”

Traditionally, vitamin D has been thought to play an essential role in bone health, making it a fave antioxidant for women in their 40s and 50s, who face a higher risk of bone problems such as osteoporosis. And just four button mushrooms contain nearly 10 micrograms of this essential vitamin–just enough to meet your daily requirement of this micronutrient, say researchers.

But just a handful of mushrooms could also stave away the mental decline that occurs as brain cells die due to old age, according to recent studies. For instance, according to a 2009 study published in the Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery and Psychiatry, over 3000 European men who had high levels of vitamin D were less likely to suffer from age-related memory loss and cognitive decline.

Those who had low vitamin D levels, however, performed the worst when it came to memory and information processing tests, according to Medical News Today.

So is eating mushrooms the key to keeping memory loss at bay? Not entirely, say researchers–but it can help.

Other Ways to Prevent Memory Loss

For many Americans, it’s a scary statistic: Over 5 million Americans suffer from extreme memory loss called Alzheimer’s disease. But besides eating a handful of mushrooms everyday, what else can you do to lower your risk?

“No matter what your age, it’s not too late to take steps to prevent memory loss,” writes Harvard Health Publications. “Physical fitness and mental fitness go together. People who get regular vigorous exercise also tend to stay mentally sharp in their 70s and 80s.”

Aside from pumping the iron, Harvard says that eating a healthy diet, avoiding smoking, and getting plenty of rest–something easier said than done as you get older–are all ways to keep memory loss on the down low. Keeping your brain active by learning or playing brain games can also help, according to recent research.

“Experts think that advanced education may help keep memory strong by getting people into the habit of being mentally active,” says Harvard Health Publications. “Regardless of your level of education, you, too, can be an active, lifelong learner. Some people continue their education with adult education classes or advanced degrees even in late adulthood.”

Readers: What are some other ways you keep your brain active?

Sources:
Preventing Memory LossHarvard.edu
Vitamin D Prevents Memory LossMedicalNewstoday.com
Mushrooms are Vitamin D FactoriesNineMSN.com.au

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