The study, published in the journal Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, asked a group of adults ages 59 and up to state whether they felt older or younger than they actually were. This self-description, which the researchers called "subjective age," can apparently reflect a person’s physiological health. In other words, if you feel young, your brain may actually show fewer age-related impairments, like early signs of dementia.
Dr. Jeanyung Chey, one of the researchers on the study, said in a statement. She noted that how old a person feels could affect how active they are, which in turn could affect their overall health. As someone who frequently feels like I'm actually closer to 80 than 18, this definitely gives me some extra motivation to stay active. If I can stay anywhere as young at heart as fabulous Instagram grandma Baddie Winkle, my brain should remain pretty strong.
While these findings clearly illuminate how much your mindset has to do with your overall health, it's easy to give your noggin an extra boost through nutrition, too.
Nourishing your brain with foods that have been shown to help it stay at its youngest and strongest can come down to simple, delicious choices.
Fresh or frozen berries are so easy to incorporate into your meals, and they taste delicious mixed into oatmeal or sprinkled over sorbet. And yes, your brain loves them just as much as your taste buds: In an interview with Forbes back in March, Dr. Lisa Mosconi, PhD, INHC, associate director of the Alzheimer’s Prevention Clinic at Weill Cornell Medical College, explained that these delicious summer fruits are a top brain food. “Berries (especially blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries but also dark cherries, goji berries and mulberries) are packed with antioxidants that help keep memory sharp as you age,” she told the news outlet.
So go ahead and drive that convertible, travel to another country, or challenge some kids to a dance battle, because it just may make your brain healthier.