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4 Food Strategies to Boost Brain Function

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Proper hydration is a critical factor in maintaining and improving your mind as you age. “Your brain is 80 percent water,” says Daniel Amen, MD, a clinical neuroscientist and author of Use Your Brain to Change Your Age: Secrets to Look, Feel, and Think Younger Every Day (Crown, 2012). “Even slight dehydration increases the body’s stress hormones, which can decrease your ability to think clearly. Over time, increased levels of stress hormones are associated with memory problems.”

While the amount of hydration you need day-to-day depends on several factors, including activity level, relative humidity and eating habits (to name only a few), the oft-repeated advice to drink 64 ounces — or eight 8-ounce glasses — of water a day isn’t a bad general rule to follow. Keep in mind, however, that you can account for those ounces in several different ways. If you’re eating a lot of vegetables and fruits, for example, you may need to drink less water. Most fresh plant foods have a high water content and will help keep you hydrated.

While the feeling of thirst is a good indicator you need to hydrate, if the only time you grab a glass of water is when you’re noticeably thirsty, you may not be drinking enough for optimal health. That’s because that “thirsty feeling” kicks in only when your body is already a bit dehydrated. The best approach to hydration is a conscious, proactive one. So, drink up! (For more on proper hydration, see Drink to Your Health.)

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Molly, selected from Experience Life

Experience Life magazine is an award-winning health and fitness publication that aims to empower people to live their best, most authentic lives, and challenges the conventions of hype, gimmicks and superficiality in favor of a discerning, whole-person perspective. Visit to learn more and to sign up for the Experience Life newsletter, or to subscribe to the print or digital version.


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7:20PM PDT on May 21, 2013

yes, thanks

10:37PM PDT on Sep 18, 2012

Neat information, thank you for sharing.

12:26PM PDT on Sep 3, 2012

Thank you

5:09AM PDT on Sep 3, 2012


11:27PM PDT on Sep 1, 2012

NIce, sensible, doable tips - thank you.

9:10PM PDT on Sep 1, 2012


6:30PM PDT on Aug 31, 2012

Very cool! Thank you

12:10PM PDT on Aug 31, 2012

Very interesting!Thanks for sharing!

10:59AM PDT on Aug 31, 2012


10:52AM PDT on Aug 31, 2012

Thanks for this info

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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