7 Powerful Ways To Nourish Your Neurons Past Age 50

7 Powerful Ways To Nourish Your Neurons Past Age 50

As you get older, the fear of worsening cognition and memory become a concern.

However, it doesn’t have to be this way. 

The truth is we have much more control over our brain health than mainstream opinion would suggest. 

The new science of metabolic health is showing us a number of powerful strategies to stay mentally sharp well into old age. 

But first, let’s take some time to understand metabolic health and how it affects brain health. 

Metabolic health = mental health 

Scientists are starting to realise that mental health and physical health are essentially the same thing - two sides of the same coin. 

Improve one and you improve the other. Neglect one, and the both will suffer. 

What ties them together is metabolism. 

Metabolism is the process that happens to turn the food you eat into the energy your body needs for everyday tasks like breathing, moving, and thinking. 

Metabolism also handles making and breaking down molecules that help your body grow, heal, and stay in good shape.

When we talk about metabolic health, we're basically talking about how well this whole process is running in your body. 

If everything's going smoothly, it means your body is using energy and nutrients from food efficiently. 

When there are problems with metabolism, there will be problems in the way cells function, leading to disease, mental health problems and age-related brain issues like memory loss and poor cognition. 

When viewed through a metabolic lens, all these issues have a metabolic cause and, therefore, can be improved through strategies that focus on metabolism. 

With that in mind, let’s look at the most promising metabolic intervention for protecting the brain and cognitive function as we age. 

Read: Neurological Conditions Are The Biggest Cause Of Health Issues Worldwide

Metabolic treatments for brain health as we age

According to cutting edge metabolic health experts, the following 6 interventions are some of the more powerful ways to enhance metabolic health to protect and improve brain health. 

If you want to age gracefully and stay mentally sharp for as long as possible, implement these strategies from today. 

  1. Exercise

We’ve all heard about the health benefits of regular exercise. However, it can’t be overstated how important it is for your brain.

Regular exercise reduces brain inflammation, promotes the growth of new brain cells, improves memory and learning, and enhances cognition in general. 

Many people are put off because they think they need to spend hours on the treadmill. However, the truth is that you’d be better off focusing on things like daily walking and about an hour each week of strength training. 

In a large study of people who were at least 55 years old, it was found that the more muscle mass people had as they age, the less risk they had of dying. 

And it turns out that just one hour of resistance exercise each week is enough to see a decrease in all-cause mortality risk. This could be 4 x 15 minute sessions, or 2 X 30 minute sessions, for example.  

Furthermore, this review discusses the underappreciated role of muscle in health and disease. 

It explains how altered muscle plays a key role in the prevention and management of chronic diseases, including heart disease, cancer, and sarcopenia.

The researcher also advises increasing protein intake to optimise muscle strength and metabolism, improving overall health.

Which brings me to my next point…

  1. Eat more meat

The powers that be want us to decrease the amount of meat we eat. However, this is not based on health reasons.

Because the truth is that meat is the perfect food for humans. Although it’s controversial to say the least, meat is rich in nutrients, easily digested, and doesn’t cause large blood sugar peaks and crashes. 

The fears about meat are generally surrounding saturated fat and its links to heart disease. 

However, the science underlying these fears is very flimsy and modern research continues to show that there are no health benefits to reducing meat consumption. 

For example, heart disease only became common in the 20th century, yet a study from 2021 found that humans were apex predators that mostly ate meat for two million years. 

To suggest that an ancient food could cause a modern disease is illogical. 

And modern studies back this up. 

Between 2010 and 2021, scientists searched PubMed, Google scholar, and Scopus for articles published on the association between saturated fat consumption and cardiovascular disease risk and outcomes.

They found that the consumption of saturated fat is not associated with cardiovascular disease risk, events, or mortality. 

They conclude, “Based on the scientific evidence, there is no scientific ground to demonize SFA [saturated fat] as a cause of CVD [cardiovascular disease]. 

“SFA naturally occurring in nutrient-dense foods can be safely included in the diet.”

Additionally, the cholesterol hypothesis, which states that cholesterol, particularly LDL-C, is inherently harmful, is questioned by the findings of this review of 19 previous studies (total of 68,094 elderly participants).

In fact, it found that the higher the cholesterol, the longer one lives.

Supplying the brain with enough of the right nutrients is crucial for optimal brain health as we age. Meat is the ideal source of these nutrients. 

Read: How a Ketogenic Diet Can Transform Mental Health

  1. Reduce stress (meditation, yoga, leisurely walks, dancing, sauna, socialising)

Stress is a known cause of brain inflammation, which itself is linked to poor brain health and problems with memory and cognition.

Therefore, doing all you can to reduce stress is a powerful way to protect the brain as you age. 

The best ways to reduce stress, you ask?

Walking in nature, meditation, yoga, sauna, spending time with people you like, are all great ways to lower stress and improve brain health. 

In fact, a recent study found that the most effective antidepressant - more beneficial than exercise and antidepressants - is taking a dance class.

The large systematic review and meta-analysis (which included 14,170 participants) showed that structured dancing improves emotional well-being, depression, motivation, and cognitive functions such as memory, across all age groups and even in individuals with chronic diseases.

Read: 3 Unconventional Ways To Beat Depression

  1. Eat more mushrooms

When it comes to supplements to your diet, mushrooms are number one for brain health. 

In particular, lion’s mane, reishi and tiger milk have shown unique benefits for the aging brain.

Lion’s mane has been shown to promote the growth of new brain cells. In fact, some studies have suggested that it may even help prevent or alleviate symptoms of cognitive decline in ageing populations.

Reishi has been shown to have neuroprotective properties, and tiger milk mushroom has beneficial effects on brain plasticity

Additionally, a study from 2021 found that people who eat mushrooms have a lower chance of experiencing depression, another study from 2021 found that adults who ate mushrooms had a lower risk of premature death, regardless of their demographics, lifestyle choices and other dietary factors. 

So eat more mushrooms, or more use mushroom supplements if you don’t like the taste of mushrooms (like me).

  1. Prioritise sleep

Sleep is essential for brain health due to its role in energy restoration and waste removal. 

During sleep, the brain recharges its energy stores and activates the glymphatic system, which helps remove waste products, including harmful proteins linked to diseases like Alzheimer's. 

This nightly cleaning process ensures that the brain remains functional and healthy.

Additionally, sleep helps regulate hormones that control hunger and stress, supports the repair and growth of brain cells, and maintains overall metabolic health. 

Poor sleep can lead to hormonal imbalances, impaired brain function, and increased risk of conditions like diabetes, which negatively affect the brain. 

Prioritising sleep means getting enough (7-9 hours), going to bed and waking up at a regular time, limiting artificial light at night as it disrupts melatonin production, and sleeping in a well ventilated room.

  1. Get more sun 

Sunlight is crucial for overall health, particularly for brain health, due to its role in vitamin D production, neurotransmitter production, and maintaining circadian rhythms. 

Exposure to sunlight helps the skin produce vitamin D, which is essential for brain function and mood regulation. Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to cognitive impairments and mood disorders such as depression.

Sunlight in the eyes also triggers the release of serotonin. This is why one of the main treatments for seasonal depression is a box that mimics natural sunlight.

Moreover, sunlight helps regulate our circadian rhythms, the body's internal clock that dictates sleep-wake cycles. 

Proper exposure to natural light during the day promotes better sleep at night, which in turn supports brain health by facilitating energy restoration, waste removal, and hormone regulation.

  1. Ditch processed food

Processed foods are modern food products that contain refined carbohydrates alongside refined fats. 

Things like crisps, sweets, pastries, ready meals, donuts, cereals, etc. Basically, everything in the supermarket that isn’t a whole food (meat, fish, fruit, vegetables, dairy).

Processed food is very bad for the brain, with many studies showing it is linked to neuroinflammation and cognitive problems.

This study found that eating a highly processed diet caused inflammation in critical areas of the brain, including the hippocampus and amygdala.

The amygdala plays a role in emotions like fear and anxiety, while the hippocampus is vital for memory.

It’s also been shown to cause depression, anxiety and mood swings. 

Read: 3 Unconventional Ways To Beat Depression

Final thoughts 

Many people are scared of ageing because they believe that there’s nothing they can do to stop their brains and cognition from worsening.

However, this isn’t true. 

Modern research has shown that metabolic health interventions can protect the brain and ensure we stay mentally sharp well into old age.

If you follow these strategies and learn more about metabolic health, you can have far more control over your ageing brain than you would expect. 

Check out our range of brain boosting mushroom extracts here.

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