This secret to eye health can also do wonders for your brain
A lifetime of learning has made you wise. If only you knew then what you know now!
The process of aging, however, can threaten to break down that knowledge… make you forgetful… and slow your wit.
But according to a new study, it doesn’t have to. You have the power to keep your brain young and stay sharp as a tack — and the secret is in one very special nutrient.
University of Illinois researchers found a connection between high levels of a carotenoid called lutein in older folks and what brain scientists call “crystallized intelligence,” or the ability to use knowledge and skills gathered over a lifetime of learning and experience.
Because it’s not just about what you know… or what you remember. In fact, having sharp memory skills can actually hide the early signs of cognitive decline.
What really matters is how you use that knowledge!
Their brain scans also showed that the people with higher levels of lutein had a thicker parahippocampal cortex, a part of the brain associated with healthy aging.
And if there’s anything you want to keep nice and plump as you get older, it’s your brain.
The study wasn’t perfect. After all, how much lutein is in your bloodstream at any given time doesn’t necessarily correspond to how much of it has accumulated in your gray matter, where it embeds in cell membranes and probably has its most protective effects.
But this is a very encouraging development when it comes to using nutrition to slow cognitive decline.
Like many other carotenoids, lutein known to protect your eyes from macular degeneration and reduce your risk of cataracts. But this pigment can even protect your skin from UV damage from the inside out.
Lutein can be found in Paleo-friendly foods like egg yolks, dark leafy greens, winter squashes, and other vegetables. Just remember that it needs a little fat to be properly absorbed.
You can also get lutein in supplement form — on its own or as part of a vision support formula.
Nutrition linked to brain health and intelligence in older adults