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Published on April 27, 2021

What Is Abstract Thinking And How To Develop It

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What Is Abstract Thinking And How To Develop It

While incredibly valuable for making wise decisions in work and life, abstract thinking is greatly underappreciated.

Abstract thinking refers to our ability to understand complex concepts that don’t rely directly on our physical senses. Such thinking relies on our capacity to hold frameworks and models in our minds of how the world works. The ability for abstract thinking is so necessary for our increasingly complex and digitalized world—where our physical senses are not nearly sufficient to lead us in the right direction.

The key to abstract thinking comes from metacognition—our ability to understand our own mental processes. In turn, metacognition embodies the essence of abstract thinking, as we cannot observe with our senses our mental processes. We have to rely on abstractions—models of our mental processes—to understand how we feel and think.

Cultivating our metacognition represents an excellent way to develop abstract thinking.

Developing Metacognition to Strengthen Abstract Thinking

Were you ever in a situation when you received constructive criticism—well-delivered or rough—from your boss, your customer, your colleague, or your coach? What did your gut tell you to do at that moment? Did it tell you to be aggressive and shout back? Perhaps it told you to hunker down and disengage? Maybe it pushed you to put your fingers in your ears with a “la-la-la, I can’t hear you.”

Fight, Freeze, or Flight

Behavioral scientists call these three types of responses the “fight, freeze, or flight” response. You might have heard about it as the saber-tooth tiger response, meaning the system our brain evolved to deal with threats in our ancestral savanna environment. This response stems from the older parts of our brain, such as the amygdala, which developed early in our evolutionary process.

Fight, freeze, or flight form a central part of one of the two systems of thinking that, roughly speaking, determine our mental processes. It’s not the old Freudian model of the id, the ego, and the super-ego, which has been left behind by recent research.

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One of the main scholars in this field is Daniel Kahneman, who won the Nobel Prize for his research on behavioral economics. He calls the two systems of thinking System 1 and 2, but I think “autopilot system” and “intentional system” describe these systems more clearly.

Developing your metacognition involves internalizing these two systems into the way you think about yourself and your own mental processes. In turn, by doing so, you also develop your abstract thinking, by thinking in an abstract manner about your own thinking.[1]

The autopilot system corresponds to our emotions and intuitions—that’s where we get the fight, freeze, or flight response. This system guides our daily habits, helps us make snap decisions, and allows us to react instantly to dangerous life-and-death situations.

Fight-or-Flight in Modern Life

While helping our survival in the past, the fight-or-flight response is not a great fit for many aspects of modern life. We have many small stresses that are not life-threatening, but the autopilot system treats them as saber-tooth tigers. Doing so produces an unnecessarily stressful everyday life experience that undermines our mental and physical well-being.

Moreover, the snap judgments resulting from intuitions and emotions usually feel “true” precisely because they are fast and powerful, and we feel very comfortable when we go with them. The decisions arising from our gut reactions are often right, especially in situations that resemble the ancient savanna.

Unfortunately—in too many cases—they’re wrong, as our modern environments have many elements that are unlike the savanna, and with growing technological disruption, the office of the future will look even less like our ancestral environment. The autopilot system will, therefore, lead us astray more and more in systematic and predictable ways.

The intentional system reflects rational thinking and centers around the prefrontal cortex—the part of the brain that evolved more recently. According to recent research, it developed as humans started to live within larger social groups. This thinking system helps us handle more complex mental activities, such as managing individual and group relationships, logical reasoning, abstract thinking, evaluating probabilities, and learning new information, skills, and habits.[2]

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While the automatic system requires no conscious effort to function, the intentional system requires a deliberate effort to turn on and is mentally tiring. Fortunately, with enough motivation and appropriate training, the intentional system can turn on in situations where the autopilot system is prone to make systematic and predictable errors.

Intentional Metacognition, Intentional Abstract Thinking

Effective metacognition involves addressing the problems caused by our autopilot systems. You need to catch areas where it goes wrong, and doing so involves abstracting yourself from your own emotions and intuitions. You need to recognize that your emotions, while they feel right, will often lie to you—as in the example with constructive critical feedback.

You also need to be able to manage your own emotions and train them to be more aligned with reality. Both the recognition and the training rely on the intentional system. By strengthening your intentional system’s ability to guide your autopilot system, you will build up your metacognitive abilities and your abstract thinking.[3]

We Are Not Entirely Rational Thinkers

We tend to think of ourselves as rational thinkers, usually using the intentional system. Unfortunately, that’s not the case.

The autopilot system has been compared by scholars of this topic to an elephant. It’s by far the more powerful and predominant of the two systems. Our emotions can often overwhelm our rationality. Moreover, our intuition and habits dominate the majority of our life. We’re usually in autopilot mode. That’s not a bad thing at all, as it would be mentally exhausting to think through our every action and decision.

The intentional system is like the elephant’s rider. It can guide the elephant deliberately to go in a direction that matches our actual goals. Certainly, the elephant part of the brain is huge and unwieldy, slow to turn and change, and stampedes at threats. But we can train the elephant. Your rider can become an elephant whisperer. Over time, you can use the intentional system to change your automatic thinking, feeling, and behavior patterns to avoid dangerous judgment errors.

It’s crucial to recognize that these two systems of thinking are counterintuitive. They don’t align with our conscious self-perception. Our mind feels like a cohesive whole. Unfortunately, this self-perception is simply a comfortable myth that helps us make it through the day. There is no actual “there” there—our sense of self is a construct that results from multiple complex mental processes within the autopilot and intentional system.

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When I first found that out, it blew my mind. It takes a bit of time to incorporate this realization into your mental model of yourself and others—in other words, how you perceive your mind to work. Bottom-line is that you’re not who you think you are. The conscious, self-reflective part of you is like a little rider on top of that huge elephant of emotions and intuitions.

Want to see what the tension between the autopilot system and the intentional system feels like in real life? Think back to the last time your supervisor, client, or investor gave you constructive critical feedback. How easy was it to truly listen and take in the information, instead of defending yourself and your work? That strain is you using your willpower to get the intentional system to override the cravings of the autopilot system.

For another example, consider the last flame war you got into online, or perhaps an in-person argument with your loved one. Did the flame war or in-person argument solve things? Did you manage to convince the other person?

I’d be surprised if it did. Arguments usually don’t lead to anything beneficial. Often, even if we win the argument, we end up harming relationships we care about. It’s like cutting off your nose to spite your face; a bad idea all around.

Looking back, you probably regret at least some of the flame wars or in-person arguments in which you’ve engaged. If so, why did you engage? It’s the old fight response coming to the fore, without you noticing it. It’s not immediately obvious that a fight response will hurt you down the road. Thus, you let the elephant go rogue, and it stampeded all over the place.

Whether in personal or business settings, letting loose the elephant is like allowing a bull into a china shop. Broken dishes will be the least of your problems. Scholars use “akrasia” to refer to such situations where we act against our better judgment. In other words, we act irrationally, defined in behavioral science as going against our own self-reflective goals.

What If My Gut Helped Me Make Many Good Decisions?

It’s wise to be wary of absolute statements. Research shows that in some instances, gut reactions can be helpful in decision-making contexts.[4] In other words, it’s not necessarily irrational to follow your gut. Developing your metacognitive skills involves learning when going with your gut may be a better idea and when it may not.

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For instance, a great deal of experience on a topic where you get quick and accurate feedback on your judgments may enable your intuitions to pick up valuable and subtle signals that more objective measurements may not discern. Our intuitions are good at learning patterns, and immediate feedback about our decision-making helps us develop high-quality expertise through improving pattern recognition.

Another example: if you have a long-standing business relationship with someone, and then you experience negative gut responses about their behavior being somehow off in a new business deal, it’s time to double-check the fine print. The savanna environment involved us living in tribes where we had to rely on our gut reactions to evaluate fellow tribal members.

However, don’t buy into the myth that you can tell apart lies from truths. Studies show that we—yes, that means you, too, unless you’re a trained CIA interrogator—are very bad at distinguishing falsehoods from accurate statements. In fact, research by Charles Bond Jr and Bella DePaul shows that we, on average, only detect fifty-four percent of lies—a shocking statistic considering we’d get fifty percent if we used random chance.[5]

Overall, it’s never a good idea to just go with your gut. Even in cases where you think you can rely on your intuitions, it’s best to use your instincts as just a warning sign of potential danger and evaluate the situation analytically.

For example, the person with whom you have a long business relationship might have just gotten some bad news about their family, and their demeanor caused your instincts to misread the situation. Your extensive experience in a given topic might bring you to ruin if the market context changes around you, and you find yourself using your old intuitions in a different environment, like a fish out of water.

Conclusion

To survive and thrive in the modern world, you need to develop your abstract thinking—the ability to think about the world through frameworks and models. To do so, you need to cultivate your metacognition, which is the capacity to understand and manage effectively your own mental processes—your thoughts and feelings.

The key to doing so involves the abstract thinking framework of the autopilot system and intentional system. You need to abstract yourself from your existing autopilot system’s emotions and intuitions, recognize and catch when they are leading you in the wrong direction, and train them to lead you in the right direction instead of using your intentional system.

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More on How to Think Clearly

Featured photo credit: @felipepelaquim via unsplash.com

Reference

More by this author

Dr. Gleb Tsipursky

Cognitive neuroscientist and behavioral economist; CEO of Disaster Avoidance Experts; multiple best-selling author

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Published on August 9, 2021

12 Best Brain Foods To Help You Focus Like A Laser

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12 Best Brain Foods To Help You Focus Like A Laser

Do you ever feel like your brain can function better than it is currently? Have you ever had moments of laser sharp focus and wished they stayed with you forever?

We have all had those moments where we found ourselves being super productive and having lengthened periods of concentration and focused attention, and if there was a way we could make such kind of mental state a permanent state for us, we would definitely go for it.

And while we cannot make the state come back and stick with us forever in just an instant, there is a way we can slowly cultivate it in our lives in the long term.

One of these ways is by being keen on eating brain boosting foods. Some foods enhance the regions of the brain that are linked to concentration, focus, reasoning, thinking abilities, and overall brain health. By eating these foods regularly, you can also improve your brain function and slowly work to a healthy and well performing brain.

Let’s take a closer look at the 12 best brain foods to take to boost your focus and overall mental health.

1. Coffee

Coffee is among the most popular beverages that sharpen your focus and increase productivity. Millions of people across the world rely on it to help them through demanding tasks at work and assignments at school.

The reason why coffee has proven to be effective over the years is due to the two components in it that largely enhance the brain.

These components are antioxidants and caffeine.

Antioxidants help with protecting the brain from common mental health conditions such as stroke, Parkinson’s disease, cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease.[1][2]

Caffeine, on the other hand, is responsible for influencing the brain in various positive ways including blocking out a brain chemical called Adenosine that makes you want to sleep and increasing the levels of serotonin neurotransmitters which in turn boosts your mood, increase your level of alertness and concentration.[3][4][5][6]

However, it is important to note that taking coffee with moderation is the way to make the most of it. If you take more than 4 cups a day, you might be setting yourself up for the nasty side effects that come with it which are restlessness and inability to sleep.[7]

Striking a good balance between coffee and other beverages will help you avoid the chances of experiencing the side effects. You can try drinking coffee only on those days you want to tackle tedious tasks, and only when you are working on them to maximize its effects in your life.

2. Fatty Fish

When the words fatty fish are mentioned, you naturally direct your attention to salmon, pollack, cod, sardines, mackerel and tuna.

These contain omega 3 fatty acids, which are known to help with improving learning abilities and memory, not to mention helping with building nerve and brain cells.[8][9][10][11]

Improved cognitive performance brought about by omega 3 fatty acids can be attributed to the fact that they help increase flow of blood in the brain. [12]

Also, when it comes to general mental health, eating oily or fatty fish helps to delay the mental decline that comes with age, as well as depression and reduce learning problems. [13] [14]

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Omega 3 has also been associated with the lowering of the protein called Beta-amyloid in the brain that is responsible for forming destructive clamps in people who struggle with Alzheimer’s.[15]

You are encouraged to add fatty fish to your eating plan and consider having it often.

Also, if you would like to obtain omega 3 fatty acids without having to feel like you have to eat fish every time, you can use other alternatives such as walnuts, flaxseeds and avocados. They are also good sources of omega 3.

3. Maca

Maca is a plant from Peru that is grown in Central Andes and has been cultivated a little over 2000 years now. Its scientific name is Lepidium meyenii and is used as a foodstuff as well as a medicinal plant.

It is said to bring about many health benefits including boosting learning abilities and memory, improving mood, increasing energy levels and endurance, improving sexual health in men, and regulating blood pressure.[16]

When it comes to the mental health benefits, Peruvian natives in the Central Andes attribute their children’s good academic performance to regular use of maca.[17]

While there are different varieties of maca, studies have found that the black variety is the one that shows strong effects on mental health improvement, and both hydroalcoholic maca extract and boiled aqueous maca extract have the same effect on the brain.[18]

Scientific studies on maca are still in their infancy and the cause of the effects that it has shown are not yet fully established. However, it is suggested that Macamides, which are maca compounds, might be behind its potency.[19]

You can add maca to your smoothies, energy bars, oatmeal, and any baked foods to enjoy its benefits.

4. Green Tea

Green tea is another known stimulant that helps you remain alert. It contains two compounds that go a long way in influencing the brain.[20]

First, it contains caffeine which accounts for the alertness.

Although coffee contains a much higher quantity of caffeine than green tea, the latter is found suitable to use for those who prefer a well toned effect of caffeine.

Caffeine helps with regulating neurotransmitters like norepinephrine, dopamine and adenosine, as earlier mentioned, that helps with keeping you awake and in good balance in terms of moods and brain function.[21][22]

Second, it contains. L-theanine.

L-theanine is an amino acid that can cross the blood-brain barrier and into the brain which then promotes increase in GABA (Gamma aminobutyric acid) which promotes relaxation.[23][24][25]

It also increases the alpha waves in the brain which are responsible for the calm, conscious and relaxed mental state.

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When L-theanine and caffeine are combined, they both have a much powerful effect, and this explains why taking green tea for many people has been found more rewarding than coffee.

L-theanine has also been linked to other mental health benefits such as improving memory and protection from mental illnesses like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.[26][27]

Taking green tea in the morning and just before going for a physical exercise helps.

5. Green Leafy Vegetables

Greens are packed with nutrients that enhance the brain in great ways. Broccoli, Swiss chards, kales, dandelion greens, collards and spinach are among the vegetables that have high nutritional value that make them useful for brain health.

Broccoli, for instance, has antioxidants and Vitamin K, among other plant compounds that contribute to better memory, anti-inflammatory effects and brain protection benefits.[28][29][30]

Kale is heavily packed with nutrients like Vitamin A, B6, C, K, potassium, manganese, copper and calcium that promote brain development, slowing cognitive decline caused by age, depression and even various health conditions like Alzheimer’s.[31][32][33][34]

Generally, leafy vegetables contain a variety of nutrients including vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that elevate various regions of the brain that are associated with memory, alertness, processing of information and overall brain health.

Working with delicious green smoothies and recipes that use a lot of greens will largely contribute to a better functioning brain.

6. Dark Chocolate

Other than the sweet taste, dark chocolate also boosts your brain.

It contains three compounds that make this possible, which are, caffeine, antioxidants and flavonoids.

Since we have already seen that caffeine offers the stimulating effects that keep you alert and antioxidants help with keeping mental illnesses and cognitive decline at bay, let’s take a closer look at flavonoids.

Flavonoids are micronutrients that reduce neuroinflammation, protect neurons from neurotoxin-based injury and are potentially effective in enhancing learning, cognitive performance and memory.[35][36] [37]

Studies have also revealed that dark chocolate brings about a positive feeling.[38]

Dark chocolate contains cacao, which is often referred to as cocoa. Aiming to eat dark chocolate that carries more than 70% cocoa ensures that you get optimal benefits from it.

7. Nuts

Nuts such as walnuts, cashew nuts, hazelnuts, pecans, to name a few, contain several brain improving nutrients.

They come with the popular antioxidant, Vitamin E, that protects the brain cells and cell membranes from oxidative stress and damage by free radicals.[39][40][41]

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Long term consumption of nuts has contributed to a sharper memory, better academic performance and lower risks of getting mental illnesses too.[42][43]

They have also shown abilities to improve the factors that account for good heart and brain health.

All nuts have their nutritional benefits but you are encouraged to eat walnuts more as they have a much higher value due to the presence of high levels of alpha-linolenic acid, which is a type of omega 3 fatty acid.

8. Avocado

Avocado is surprisingly a berry, and it is referred to as a big berry.

Although it hasn’t been fully studied yet, it is believed to carry vitamins B5, B6, C, E and K. Also, it comes with folate and potassium.

There are also low amounts of other nutrients including copper, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, manganese, and iron that are present in it.

Moreover, it contains a monounsaturated fatty acid called Oleic acid, which is part of what makes olive oil good to use. This fatty acid is known to have many benefits, some of which are lowering inflammation, and brain development.[44]

Adding it to your recipes or making smoothies, and regularly eating it together with your favorite fruits will help you take advantage of its nutritional value.

9. Eggs

There are 4 micronutrients in eggs that give the brain an extra edge, folate, choline, vitamin B6 and B12.

Folate helps to slow down the mental decline that comes with age.[45]

Choline is used by the body to increases the levels of a neurotransmitter known as Acetylcholine that is associated with memory, mental function and moods.[46][47][48]

The yolk of an egg is where the choline micronutrient is in high quantities, and people who desire to increase their choline levels in the body are encouraged to focus on that part.

Vitamin B6 brings down the high levels of an amino acid called Homocysteine in the blood that causes depression and other psychiatric issues.

It also plays the role of increasing the levels of neurotransmitters like GABA (Gamma-aminobutyric acid), serotonin and dopamine, which modulate emotions.

Vitamin B12 also helps with reducing the symptoms of depression as well as preventing losing neurons that in turn cause poor memory.[49]

10. Citrus Fruits

Citrus fruits are categorized into lemons (which include meyer lemons and eureka lemons), sweet oranges (which include blood orange, Valencia, cara cara and navel), limes (which include kaffir, Persian and key lime), mandarin (which include tangelo, tangor, satsuma and clementine), grapefruit (which include ruby red, white and oroblanco) and others such as yuzu, sudachi, citron and pomelos.

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They have the B vitamins as well as Vitamin C, copper, phosphorus, potassium, and magnesium. There are also lots of varieties of carotenoids, essential oils and flavonoids present in citrus fruits.

On top of that, they are also known to possess antioxidating and anti-inflammatory effects.

Vitamin C reduces inflammation, offers protection to neurons from oxidative stress, modulates neurotransmission (communication between neurons), and also influences neuronal development.[50]

Some of the minerals in citrus fruits have been found to reduce symptoms of depression in women.[51]

They have also been associated with influencing communication through the nerves and regulating neurotransmitters.[52]

The flavanoids protect the nervous system from damage through the anti-inflammatory effects they have. And this helps to keep mental health conditions like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s away.[53][54]

11. Turmeric

Turmeric is a spice we add to our foods to make it delicious that also does a bit of magic to our brains.

Curcumin is a primary active component in turmeric that easily passes the blood brain barrier.

It brings about anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects that drag along the benefits of improved memory, promoting growth of new brain cells and managing moods.[55][56]

Also, it has shown potential to handle Alzheimer’s diseases, although it has not been fully confirmed as reliable treatment.[57][58]

12. Beetroots

Beetroots which are commonly referred to as beets are also great brain enhancers.

They can help prevent mental decline that is associated with poor blood flow to the brain. They have nitrates that encourage blood vessel dilation that then allow more blood and oxygen to flow to the brain, and thus enhance its functions.[59]

More specifically, they improve flow of blood to a part of the brain known as the frontal lobe.

This is a region that is linked to higher cognitive functions including concentration and attention, problem solving, reasoning and judgment, motor function, impulse control, memory, social interaction and emotions.

Conclusion

There you go, the best brain foods that you should make your closest friends.

You should aim to have them often if you would like to see an improvement in your brain function in the coming months. Looking for recipes that use the foods mentioned above as ingredients and adding them to your recipe book is a good place to start.

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Also, mixing them up with the foods you like eating goes a long way in not only making sure that you are minding your brain health but also enjoying what you eat in the process.

Featured photo credit: Maddi Bazzocco via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] PubMed.gov: Effects of coffee/caffeine on brain health and disease: What should I tell my patients?
[2] US National Library of Medicine: Neuroprotective and Anti-inflammatory Properties of a Coffee Component in the MPTP Model of Parkinson’s Disease
[3] PubMed.gov: Effects of caffeine on mood and performance: a study of realistic consumption
[4] PubMed.gov: Caffeine and adenosine
[5] PubMed.gov: The role of adenosine in the regulation of sleep
[6] PubMed.gov: Roles of adenosine and its receptors in sleep-wake regulation
[7] US National Library of Medicine: The Safety of Ingested Caffeine: A Comprehensive Review
[8] National Center For Complimentary And Integrative Health: Omega-3 Supplements: In Depth
[9] PubMed.gov: Omega-3 Fatty Acids and their Role in Central Nervous System – A Review
[10] National Library of Medicine: A meta-analytic review of double-blind, placebo-controlled trials of antidepressant efficacy of omega-3 fatty acids
[11] PubMed.gov: Novel insights into the effect of vitamin B₁₂ and omega-3 fatty acids on brain function
[12] PubMed.gov: Quantitative Erythrocyte Omega-3 EPA Plus DHA Levels are Related to Higher Regional Cerebral Blood Flow on Brain SPECT
[13] PubMed.gov: Omega-3 fatty acids and dementia
[14] PubMed.gov: Fish consumption and cognitive decline with age in a large community study
[15] Harvard Medical School: Foods linked to better brainpower
[16] US National Library of Medicine: Acceptability, Safety, and Efficacy of Oral Administration of Extracts of Black or Red Maca (Lepidium meyenii) in Adult Human Subjects: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study
[17] PubMed.gov: Ethnobiology and Ethnopharmacology of Lepidium meyenii (Maca), a Plant from the Peruvian Highlands
[18] PubMed.gov: Effect of three different cultivars of Lepidium meyenii (Maca) on learning and depression in ovariectomized mice
[19] US National Library of Medicine: Ethnobiology and Ethnopharmacology of Lepidium meyenii (Maca), a Plant from the Peruvian Highlands
[20] PubMed.gov: Effect of Green Tea Phytochemicals on Mood and Cognition
[21] Wiley Online Library: Adenosine, Adenosine Receptors and the Actions of Caffeine
[22] PubMed.gov: Caffeine and the central nervous system: mechanisms of action, biochemical, metabolic and psychostimulant effects
[23] PubMed.gov: The neuropharmacology of L-theanine(N-ethyl-L-glutamine): a possible neuroprotective and cognitive enhancing agent
[24] ScienceDirect: L-theanine—a unique amino acid of green tea and its relaxation effect in humans
[25] PubMed.gov: L-theanine, a natural constituent in tea, and its effect on mental state
[26] PubMed.gov: Green tea extract enhances parieto-frontal connectivity during working memory processing
[27] PubMed.gov: Neurological mechanisms of green tea polyphenols in Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases
[28] PubMed.gov: Vitamin K status and cognitive function in healthy older adults
[29] Increased dietary vitamin K intake is associated with less severe subjective memory complaint among older adults
[30] US National Library of Medicine: Assessing Competence of Broccoli Consumption on Inflammatory and Antioxidant Pathways in Restraint-Induced Models: Estimation in Rat Hippocampus and Prefrontal Cortex
[31] ScienceDaily: B vitamins and the aging brain examined
[32] PubMed.gov: The Importance of Maternal Folate Status for Brain Development and Function of Offspring
[33] PubMed.gov: Treatment of depression: time to consider folic acid and vitamin B12
[34] PNAS: Preventing Alzheimer’s disease-related gray matter atrophy by B-vitamin treatment
[35] US National Library of Medicine: Flavonoids and brain health: multiple effects underpinned by common mechanisms
[36] Harvard Medical School: The thinking on flavonoids
[37] PubMed.gov: Epicatechin, a component of dark chocolate, enhances memory formation if applied during the memory consolidation period
[38] PubMed.gov: The sweet life: The effect of mindful chocolate consumption on mood
[39] PubMed.gov: Effects of vitamin E on cognitive performance during ageing and in Alzheimer’s disease
[40] PubMed.gov: The effect of adrenaline and of alpha- and beta-adrenergic blocking agents on ATP concentration and on incorporation of 32Pi into ATP in rat fat cells
[41] PubMed.gov: Vitamin E-gene interactions in aging and inflammatory age-related diseases: implications for treatment. A systematic review
[42] US National Library of Medicine: LONG-TERM INTAKE OF NUTS IN RELATION TO COGNITIVE FUNCTION IN OLDER WOMEN
[43] PubMed.gov: Cognition: the new frontier for nuts and berries
[44] US National Library of Medicine: Neuroprotective effects of oleic acid in rodent models of cerebral ischaemia
[45] US National Library of Medicine: Brain foods: the effects of nutrients on brain function
[46] PubMed.gov: Choline: an essential nutrient for public health
[47] Pubmed.govThe relation of dietary choline to cognitive performance and white-matter hyperintensity in the Framingham Offspring Cohort
[48] NCBI: Dietary Reference Intakes for Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Vitamin B12, Pantothenic Acid, Biotin, and Choline
[49] PubMed.gov: Vitamin B-12 concentration, memory performance, and hippocampal structure in patients with mild cognitive impairment
[50] PubMed.gov: Preventive and Therapeutic Potential of Vitamin C in Mental Disorders
[51] NCBI: Association between Lower Intake of Minerals and Depressive Symptoms among Elderly Japanese Women but Not Men: Findings from Shika Study
[52] Harvard Medical School: Precious metals and other important minerals for health
[53] PubMed.gov: Role of Quercetin Benefits in Neurodegeneration
[54] PubMed.gov: Neurodegenerative Diseases: Might Citrus Flavonoids Play a Protective Role?
[55] PubMed.gov: Efficacy and safety of curcumin in major depressive disorder: a randomized controlled trial
[56] PLOS ONE: Curcumin Enhances Neurogenesis and Cognition in Aged Rats: Implications for Transcriptional Interactions Related to Growth and Synaptic Plasticity
[57] US National Library of Medicine: The effect of curcumin (turmeric) on Alzheimer’s disease: An overview
[58] NCBI: The effect of curcumin (turmeric) on Alzheimer’s disease: An overview
[59] NCBI: The Potential Benefits of Red Beetroot Supplementation in Health and Disease

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