Listed below are some of the most important dietary changes to add to your daily menu and which to cut out as much as possible in order to reduce your risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s.
The majority of scientists, doctors and dieticians agree that green leafy vegetables are one of the most important foods to help fight both diabetes and dementia. This is because they have a strong, positive effect on cognitive health.
Recent studies that examined fruit and vegetable intake and cognitive decline found that green leafy vegetables offered the most protection of them all, thanks to their high percentage of antioxidants and phytonutrients. Leafy green vegetables also are high in folate, and these same studies found promising evidence that larger concentrations of folate in the blood may also give better protection against dementia or Alzheimer’s. These vegetables include:
● Romaine lettuce
● Leaf lettuce
● Bok choy
Alternatively, if you find many of the leafy greens unpalatable, you can take a daily folate supplement instead.
Fish is another core element of diets that combat Alzheimer’s and dementia, and offers patients a boost of lean protein, essential omega 3 fatty acids and healthy fats. Plus, long- ongoing studies and research strongly suggest that people who eat more fish may experience less cognitive decline as they get older.
Many types of fish have high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, including:
These fish are also a great source of vitamin B12, which can have a very positive effect on brain health and cognitive function as well.
Believe it or not,scientists have discovered that there are even some types of dementia that can be reversed by taking vitamin B12 supplements.
What’s more, patients who have Alzheimer’s often find that they are deficient of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), a type of omega-3 fatty acid. Therefore, it’s easy to see that eating omega-3-rich fish may help protect you against dementia and Alzheimer’s, and help improve brain function too.
Alternatively, if you follow a strict vegetarian or vegan diet, nuts are also packed with omega 3’s that protect your brain health, and are great for your cardiovascular health as well. A long-term study of women over 70 found that those who ate 5 or more servings of nuts every week enjoyed better cognitive function than those who didn’t. The study also concluded that the participants who ate more nuts also had better language skills, remembered the names of various objects better, and were able to hold their attention longer too.
These superfoods are a must for any diet. The healthy fats in avocados feed your body with clean energy without spiking your blood sugar levels. Avocados are full of healthy mono-unsaturated fats. It’s been found in many studies that people who eat more monounsaturated fats and omega-6 polyunsaturated fats are less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.
Olive oil is another well known healthy fat. It’s also at the core of the most effective dementia and Alzheimer’s diets. The great thing about these healthy fats is that your body can use them as a cleaner energy source. Whereas carbs turn into glucose in the body, fats turn into harmless ketones.
These monounsaturated fats, the “good” fats in olive oil, can also help you lower your total cholesterol. Eating more monounsaturated fat increases your HDL levels (good cholesterol) and lowers your LDL levels (bad cholesterol). Furthermore, there’s a direct link between bad cholesterol and Alzheimer’s disease. Higher levels of good cholesterol regulates the beta-amyloid proteins that form plaques and cause disease.
Berries, particularly strawberries and blueberries, are fantastic additions to your diet, due to their rich health properties that have shown to help fight both diabetes and dementia. And just like green tea, berries also contain helpful flavonoids. They’re full of:
● Anti-inflammatory compounds
● Fiber (a prebiotic)
● Vitamins (including vitamin C)
Scientists have found direct links between berries and brain health. One study even found that participants improved their memory simply by drinking a glass of blueberry juice every day. Another study found that participants who ate more strawberries were less likely to develop Alzheimer’s.
You should try your best to eliminate the following foods from your diet whenever you can, as they are very damaging to both your brain, blood sugar levels and heart health:
Anything that contains added sugar, trans fats, simple carbs, white flour, highly processed foods, grains, high fat cheeses and excessive salt and alcohol.