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Brain booster breakthroughs

Jan. 22, 2013 @ 09:50 PM

Sci-fi doesn't do justice to the astounding three-pound supercomputer between your ears. It takes some TLC to keep it in top shape. That's why it's so exciting that recent research reveals how to enhance your intellect, strengthen perception and protect your gray matter over time.

START WITH YOUR 'TUDE, DUDE. When you think of yourself as "old" and associate aging with declining abilities, you're five times more likely to test positive for dementia than if you have a youthful sense of self. Luckily, you're never too old to renew your inner youth. Three sure-fire ways: Touch and be touched -- hugs, intimate contact or massage stimulate feel-good hormones; learn one new thing a day, as it keeps the brain young; and meditate 10 minutes daily to build resilience and manage stress.

GET SOME FAT-ISFACTION. Your brain reacts to the fats you eat, and a new study found saturated fats (in meats and dairy) KO brain function. But cognitive, verbal and memory skills are amped up by monounsaturated (olive oil) and polyunsaturated (canola and safflower oil) fats, omega-3s in walnuts (6x more than other nuts), and DHA in fish and omega-3 supplements.

Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Medical Officer at the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute. For more info go to www.RealAge.com.