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Mistake #3: You avoid fish and fat.
Why it’s aging you: Fish and healthy oils (like olive) offer the best source of omega-3 essential fatty acids ,which help prevent memory loss.
“These fatty acids are part of the brain’s building blocks,” explains Andrew Weil, MD, director of the Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona. “If you’re not getting enough in your diet, the architecture of the brain becomes weak, and brain function, including memory, suffers.” But it’s not only the amount of omega-3s that’s important; the balance between omega-3s and omega-6s is equally crucial. “Our diets are flooded with omega-6 fatty acids, mostly from processed foods,” says Dr. Weil. “The more omega-6s you eat, the more omega-3s you need to balance your levels. Most of us aren’t eating enough omega-3s and are eating too many omega-6s.”
First, reduce your consumption of refined and processed foods much as possible, and cook with olive or canola oil. Then, eat 3 1⁄2 ounces of wild salmon and 3 1⁄2 ounces of herring, sardines, or halibut each week. Add 2 tablespoons of freshly ground flaxseed to cereal, whole grain side dishes, or shakes daily, and garnish salads or cereal with 1 tablespoon of walnuts 5 days a week. Finally, enjoy 9 to 12 almonds 4 times a week.