Everybody grows older, but just as you can be "young at heart," you can also strive to be cognitively young by being *mindful* (get it?!) of what you eat.
Just ask brain health expert and author of "Genius Foods," Max Lugavere, who gave us the lowdown on four food staples that he considers "genius."
"It's the Mediterranean-style diet," he explains, “which has been shown to reduce risk for cardiovascular disease, neurodegenerative disease and actually improve the way your brain ages and functions in the here and now.”
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"This should be the primary oil used in your kitchen," Max stresses. "It's so good for you."
And he suggests taste-testing different types for quality.
"Olive oil quality is judged in terms of coughs," the brain health guru jokes. "You should notice that it gets really spicy after a while."
"That spiciness is owed to a compound in it that’s profoundly anti-inflammatory," he continues. "It's been shown to be as anti-inflammatory as low-dose ibuprofen."
And contrary to popular belief, you can cook with it!
"If you can see through the oil," Rach says, "you can cook with it."
DARK LEAFY GREENS (spinach, arugula and kale are Max's favorites!)
GET THIS: "People that eat a bowl of dark leafy greens a day have been shown to have brains that looks 11 years younger on scans," Max reveals.
*JAW ON GROUND*
With that said, Max stresses that you should pair dark leafy greens with fat (like olive oil!), because some of the most important compounds in the leafy greens (like carotenoid!) aren’t absorbed in your body unless consumed with fat.
"An egg yolk is literally designed by nature to have all of the ingredients required for a healthy brain," the "Genius Food" author explains. "But the problem is, all eggs are not created equally."
In fact, when Rach and Max cracked both a pastured egg and a conventional factory-farm chicken egg, the yolk of the pastured egg was significantly more orange -- which means it contains more brain-boosting compounds.
More brain-boosting compounds sounds EGG-cellent to us!
CRUCIFEROUS VEGETABLES (like broccoli and cabbage!)
These veggies may not be everybody’s favorites (though we really do like them!). Just pretend that eating them is as fun as pronouncing their name! ?
"When you consume foods like this," Max says, "it basically turns on the machinery in your liver to go through its own detox process."
Worth convincing yourself to like them, wouldn't you say?!