What foods are best for your brain


by Cathy Marshall, KGW


Posted on January 6, 2012 at 8:12 PM

Updated Friday, Jan 4 at 10:44 AM

PORTLAND - An OHSU researcher is getting worldwide attention for his work on how foods affect the size of the brain.

Dr. Gene Bowman found certain good food nutrients in the diet can keep the brain from shrinking.

“Foods high in Vitamins B,C,D and E are excellent choices,” said Bowman.

Some of his favorites at the grocery store include kale and spinach, which are good for memory. Citrus fruits like lemons and grapefruit are good for the attention function of the brain.

Bowman says his most striking finding involves what you shouldn’t be buying at the grocery store.

“People that had higher levels of trans fat in their blood had smaller brains and worse cognitive performance across the board,” explained Bowman.

Frozen foods, margarine, cake mixes and fried foods can be loaded with trans fat.

Dr. Bowman, a researcher at OHSU’s Brain Institute, tested the blood of elderly patients to determine what food had been in their diets. He was able to see what nutrients the patients picked up from the foods they had eaten.

“The first step to increasing brain health is staying away from those bad foods,” concluded Bowman.