If there’s one food that people associate with Valentine’s Day, it’s chocolate. More than half of those celebrating are expected to give candy this year, spending 1.8 billion dollars on sweet treats, according to the National Retail Federation. Although studies that find chocolate is good for your brain grab headlines, this Valentine’s Day consider skipping the candy and instead spending quality time with loved ones.
In February, we are surrounded by hearts. They’re everywhere—in the grocery store, shopping malls and email inboxes. You may also hear more about heart health, because February is  American Heart Month. Taking steps to strengthen your heart yields a bonus—you’ll be protecting your brain as well.
As the executive director of the Global Council on Brain Health (GCBH), I am always on the lookout for brain-healthy foods. I scan grocery aisles for chocolate bars with more than 70 percent cocoa, feel that I’m stimulating my brain when I down my morning coffee and even feel virtuous when drinking a glass or two of red wine. Turns out all my assumptions have been wrong.
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In April 2015, the Institute of Medicine released a groundbreaking report on what older Americans can do to keep their brains healthy. The report said that obesity was likely to increase the risk of cognitive decline. The same month, a major study in the British medical journal Lancet found that being underweight in middle age and old age is linked to an increased risk for dementia. Confused? You’re not alone. This is just one example of scientific reports that generate conflicting news headlines. Do brain games work to strengthen memory? Does lifting weights and practicing yoga make a difference? Can certain foods decrease risk of dementia?
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Congratulations! You stuck with a healthy diet and have lost weight. Now comes what may be the hardest part: Keeping it off.
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Guilty as charged: I’ve grown lax about my workout program in the last few months, leading to a loss in strength and a gain in weight.
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Michael Clarke Duncan was full of life just three years ago. The then-54-year-old actor was at the pinnacle of his career. His Academy Award-nominated performance as John Coffey in The Green Mile is still revered.
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The government’s new dietary guidelines, due to be released in the coming months, may contain an about-face on decades of advice not to eat cholesterol-rich food.
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“New year, new you.”
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Having diabetes or prediabetes in midlife is linked to memory problems later in life, according to new research published in Annals of Internal Medicine. In fact,  diabetes appears to age the brain about five years faster than normal aging.
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