Inflammation is part of the body’s natural self-defense system. When your body senses an invader like the flu virus, the immune system sends out an inflammatory response to restore order. That’s a good thing.
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But lately, inflammation has earned a reputation as the bad guy when it comes to your health. That’s because all too often, a poor diet or untamed stress kicks your immune system into overdrive.
This state of chronic inflammation has been linked to obesity, heart disease and cancer. It’s also not great for your brain. Scientists have found that when inflammation is out of control, brain cells take a hit and your memory and thinking skills are affected.
Enter anti-inflammatory foods. We’ve gathered a list of seven delicious foods that are packed with compounds that may help keep inflammation in check and your brain in good working order.
Artichokes: Vitamin K helps with remembering specific events (like where you left your keys) and speeding up communication between brain cells.
Celery: Luteolin is linked to lower rates of age-related memory loss.
Cucumbers: Potassium assists with brain cell communication, while fisetin helps protect the brain’s nerve cells from age-related decline.
Pineapples: Bromelain helps improve blood flow to the brain, and folate helps you be more alert and focused.
Pumpkin seeds: Zinc is key for memory and thinking, while magnesium helps create new brain cells.
Purple potatoes: Anthocyanins may help prevent age-related confusion, and high levels of folate help to decrease levels of homocysteine (an amino acid that can damage brain cells).
Raisins: Boron helps with mental alertness, short-term memory and focus.
Of course, these aren’t the only foods that help tame inflammation. Discover more delicious ways to fuel your thinking skills when you activate your access to AARP Staying Sharp today! It’s easy to enroll and is included with your AARP membership.