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If you want to be smarter into your later years then it is important that you start now! 
Elderly people who had diets higher in levels of vitamins B, C, D & E and Omega-3 fatty acids did better on mental acuity tests and showed less brain shrinkage than those who ate a diet consisting of processed foods, according to research by scientists from the Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, Oregon.
Brain shrinkage is typical of Alzheimer’s disease. Previous studies hinted at the role that nutrition may play in staving off the disease, but this study, the first of its kind, measured 30 different blood nutrient levels, reflecting a much wider range of nutrients, and adds specificity to the findings.
“This approach clearly shows the biological and neurological activity that’s associated with actual nutrient levels, both good and bad,” said Maret Traber, a principal investigator with the Linus Pauling Institute and co-author on the study.
“The vitamins and nutrients you get from eating a wide range of fruits, vegetables and fish can be measured in blood biomarkers,” Traber said. “I’m a firm believer these nutrients have strong potential to protect your brain and make it work better.”
The most favorable cognitive outcomes and brain size measurements were associated with two dietary patterns – high levels of marine fatty acids, and high levels of vitamins B, C, D and E found in dark colored vegetables, whole grains, and free range meats showed the most benefit.    Trans-fatty foods such as those found in processed baked goods, pre-prepared meals, crackers and chips were associated with the worst cognitive performance.
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