As you can see from her photos, Senior Supermodel Oleda Baker is aging magnificently. I interviewed Oleda last December. She is a treasure trove of information on everything this blog stands for, namely weight control, healthy living and healthy aging, so I asked her if she would share some of her ideas with us. She has written 10 books on beauty and health. Her latest, written at the age of 75, Breaking the Age Barrier – Great Looks and Health at Every Age – was released in November 2010 and is available from Amazon or from her website www.oleda.com where she also sells her own line of health and beauty aids.
Foods that contain antioxidants, which neutralize harmful free radicals, are especially good for your brain. Free radicals damage your body and break down the neurons in your brain, so the many colorful fruits and vegetables that are packed with antioxidants are good for you in more ways than one.
Too much alcohol has been linked to brain atrophy, because it can cause direct injury to the cells. The good news is that these cells can be rebuilt when people eliminate alcohol from the diet.
Scientists have shown that certain nutrients are essential for human brain function. Serious deficiencies in vitamin B12 and iron, for example, can lead to impaired cognition. Paying careful attention to diet helps protect the brain from developing problems with nerve cell signals that are involved in memory and cognition.
Food with high Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) scores are thought to help improve brain function. An ORAC score of around 5,000 units per day can have a significant positive effect on blood and tissue antioxidant levels.
The following fruits have the highest ORAC scores (numbers are based on
1/2 cup of each):
BLACK PLUMS: 4,500
Other fruits and vegetables have good ORAC scores as well, but somewhat less punch. Some food producers place ORAC scores on their products, so you can look for them as you shop.
Drink plenty of water, too. Your brain is about 80 percent liquid and needs to be well hydrated to function well.
The following is a drink … or Smoothie … that I have taken for years in order to get my antioxidants. I have it for lunch 4 or 5 times a week. If you do the same, you’ll be giving the cells in your body, including your brain, a real boost. Of course, you could interchange the berries to taste.
Here’s what you need: - A blender - Large container of Vanilla Yogurt (32 oz.) - 2 to 3 cups of blueberries - 1 to 1/12 cups of strawberries (I keep both berries in the freezer at all times). - 1 or 2 Bananas - Honey
Here’s what you do:
– Put defrosted blueberries and strawberries into blender. – Add cut banana in large pieces and drop in blender. – Put about ½ of the container of Yogurt in blender to start.
– Mix well, then add more yogurt to almost fill blender leaving room for honey…sweeten to taste. (I like mine on the sweet side) Before pouring into containers turn blender to Liquefy or Puree for best results. If you still have yogurt left pour the Health Drink into one glass and add remaining yogurt to blender, mix again.
This will produce 4 to 5 glasses of delicious, fortifying health drink. Have one glass now and put plastic sandwich bags over each of the others. Refrigerated, they last for several days.