Keep Your Brain Young

By Editorial Staff

It could be as easy as making sure you're getting enough magnesium in your diet. Researchers have discovered that people who eat more magnesium-rich foods have brains that are approximately one year "younger" by midlife compared to people with normal magnesium intake. The extra amount required: 200 or more mg per day.

Brain age is related to overall brain health, better cognition function and lower risk / delayed onset of dementia in later life, according to the researchers, whose findings are based on a study involving 6,000-plus healthy adults (ages 40-73 at the start of the study) who completed online food questionnaires five times in a 16-month period. Researchers used the questionnaires, which asked participants about their consumption of 200 different foods with a range of portion sizes, to estimate how much magnesium they were getting in their diet on a daily basis.

Findings, published in the European Journal of Nutrition, revealed that higher dietary magnesium corresponded with larger brain volume (gray matter) and lower white-matter lesions (both of which are indicators of brain health and dementia risk). Interestingly, these effects were more noticeable in women than men.

Not sure if you're getting enough magnesium in your diet? Let's start with a list of foods high in magnesium; think spinach, nuts and seeds, whole grains, and various other foods. (For a bigger list, click here.) If you take a daily multivitamin/mineral, check to see how much magnesium it contains as well. Finally, talk to your doctor about ensuring you get enough magnesium and other key vitamins / minerals in your daily diet or via supplementation. Your brain will thank you for it.

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