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Power foods have been show to improve brain function

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio - Some people assume memory loss is an unavoidable downside to getting older. For some, that's true. However, Dr. Neal Barnard the author of "Power Foods for the Brain" says you can protect your mind and strengthen your memory.

"Inside the brain of a person who has developed Alzheimer's disease there are tiny little collections of proteins. This is called beta amyloid. They look like little microscopic meatballs in the brain," Dr. Barnard said.

Dr. Barnard says there are three that things contribute to the growth of those tiny collection sites. Saturated fats, which can be found in dairy products and meat, trans fats, which can be found in pastries and traces of metal from cookware and containers. By replacing the bad fats with power foods Dr. Barnard says you can improve brain function.

"Think about color. You go into the produce department and there are some blueberries and strawberries that are just screaming out color. Well, the fact that they are colorful that is a sign that they are loaded with antioxidants that protected the plant while they are growing on the vine, but they get into your blood stream and go to the brain and they protect you as well," Dr. Barnard said.

Green leafy vegetables, like lettuce and kale, are loaded with folate, which is a B vitamin and has been shown to protect the brain. Dr. Barnard also suggests beans, not only are they high in protein but they also contain vitamin B6 another vitamin shown to protect the brain.

Lacing up your tennis shoes can also help improve brain health. Researchers have discovered as little as 30 to 40 minutes of exercise three days a week can change the brain physically and counteract brain shrinkage.

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