This Breakfast Routine May Slow Brain Aging, Says Science

It is a normal part of the aging process for your body to undergo various types of changes. While you’ll notice changes in your joints, skin, bones, muscles, and even your ability to manage your weight, one of the most frustrating age-related changes is what can happen to your brain. Although age-related cognitive decline is an expected part of aging, there are steps you can take to slow the process. In fact, having a proper breakfast routine may help slow the aging of your brain.

Before we get to the breakfast routine, let’s look at what can affect how quickly your brain ages. Cognitive decline can be affected by many different factors, such as how active you are, how much sleep you get, whether or not you smoke tobacco, and the overall look of your diet. According to the National Institute on Aging, there is a long list of steps you can take to maintain your cognitive health as you age, based on these factors. These include things like keeping your mind active, monitoring your blood pressure, staying social, limiting alcohol and tobacco use, and eating nutrient-dense foods.

If you want to implement healthier habits for your brain, your morning routine is a great place to start. This is why we’ve created a 4-step breakfast routine to slow brain aging, which is based on expert input from dietitians and scientific research. Read on to learn more, then be sure to check out the 5 Worst Foods for Your Brain.

drinking water

The first step in your breakfast routine technically starts the night before, as you need to prepare yourself to get an adequate amount of sleep. According to a recent study published in sleep, a shorter night’s rest is associated with faster cognitive decline and brain aging. So do your best to go to bed early the night before and give yourself the freedom to wake up at a time that gives you enough rest.

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As soon as you wake up, the next thing you want to do is grab a glass of water. Your body naturally loses fluids and electrolytes throughout the night, especially if you sleep with your mouth open. Also, if you eat salty foods, drink alcohol, or take dehydration medications before you go to bed, you may be more dehydrated in the morning as well. follow Frontiers in Molecular Bioscience, dehydration can accelerate the aging process of the brain for those with dementia. This is reason enough to make sure you stay hydrated throughout the day and drink plenty of fluids, and refueling your body first thing in the morning is an easy way to start.

fitness woman in the forest showing exercises for those in their 50s

Staying physically active is important for your brain health as you age, so the next step in your routine is to get some movement. This could be light yoga, a brisk walk, a trip to the gym, a bike ride, or even a fun morning dance session. According to the CDC, consistent movement can help with anxiety, memory, problem solving, and having better emotional balance. One study also found that in adults who were more inactive and did not exercise regularly, dementia was almost twice as common as those with a more active lifestyle.

However, before you move, you need to fill your body with light snacks, such as fruits and nuts, for example.

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“Wild blueberries and walnuts can fuel your body with nutrients that support brain health that can keep you going while you include a little morning exercise,” says Lauren Manaker, MS, RDNregistered dietitian and author Cookbook for First Time Pregnant Mothers and Nourishes Male Fertility. “Specifically, eating walnuts has been found to possibly slow cognitive decline in high-risk groups, and eating wild blueberries may help older adults with slower cognitive processing to think faster.”

Manaker also suggests drinking a cup of green or black tea early in the morning. “Caffeine and L-theanine in tea may offer cognitive benefits and improve mental clarity and work performance throughout the day,” says Manaker. “In fact, a cross-sectional study showed that participants who consumed more tea felt less tired and reported higher levels of subjective work performance.”

RELATED: Breakfast Habits Age Your Brain Faster

The couple is having breakfast

Eating a well-balanced breakfast is probably one of the most important steps in your morning routine, and it’s a great way to pack in some important brain-healthy nutrients.

“After exercise, a well-balanced breakfast that contains a source of choline, such as eggs, can stimulate your brain,” says Manaker.

Best Trista, MPH, RD, LD at Balance One Supplements, adds that including key antioxidants and minerals like iron, magnesium and zinc can also help your cognition as you age.

“Iron is needed to carry oxygen to the brain and is found in foods such as red meat, eggs, and fortified cereals, magnesium is involved in brain function and is found in beans, green leafy vegetables, and whole grains, and zinc is involved in neurotransmitter synthesis. and found in animal protein, nuts, and seeds,” says Best. “Antioxidants also help protect the brain from oxidative stress, and some of the breakfast choices highest in antioxidants include berries, cherries, apples, prunes, pecans, and spinach.”

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Once you’ve chosen a good and balanced breakfast, you might want to enjoy it with friends, family members or when you’re catching up with people you haven’t spoken to in a while. This is because studies show that socializing can improve cognitive performance in older adults. So, no matter how old you are, talking to loved ones while you eat can help keep your brain sharp, and can also help you get used to staying social as you get older.

Another way you can enjoy breakfast while improving your cognitive health is to play mind games or puzzles while you eat. Research shows that brain training games can help improve memory, attention and concentration in the short term, and some studies even find that they may have long-term effects on reducing the risk of dementia.

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woman drinking coffee

For the coffee lovers out there, your final step in this routine is to freely enjoy your favorite cup of Joe. There are various research studies that support the relationship between caffeine consumption and cognitive performance, especially in older adults. Some studies have also found that regular coffee consumption can reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. If you’re not yet a coffee drinker, don’t worry, you can still get some brain health benefits from drinks like tea, as mentioned above.


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