If you have ever watched a family member suffer through the grips of dementia, then you know how worrisome it can be knowing this degenerative disease is in your family tree. Your family history does not have to spell doom and gloom for you. Alzheimer’s disease and dementia prevention strategies can include a healthy lifestyle through exercise of both your body and mind, and through your diet.
This article will introduce you to some of the foods suggested by research that can help combat cognitive decline, including:
1. Leafy vegetables
Green vegetables, especially those of the leafy sort, are terrific at keeping your brain and body healthy against Alzheimer’s disease. The combination of folate, B9, and Antioxidants create a power-packed defensive line that assists cognitive function and will also stave off depression. Look for these benefits in Kale, spinach, and collard greens.
2. Cruciferous vegetables
Cruciferous vegetables offer carotenoids that are proven to decrease the levels of an amino acid called homocysteine. This amino acid is linked to diminished cognitive ability. Thus, by lowering the levels in your brain, you can enjoy sharper mental prowess. Broccoli, cauliflower, bok choy, and kale are good examples of these cruciferous vegetables.
3. Fish oils
Omega-3 fish oil is often touted for its benefits to skin and heart health. Fish oil contains two types of fatty acids: eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Both types of acids are imperative for proper brain function and maintenance throughout your life. There are also claims that fish oil can help improve cognitive decline in people with mild forms of impairment.
Beets are often called superfood. This is because they benefit many aspects of your health. In regards to your brain health, they are full of nitrates that are converted to nitrites when consumed. Nitrites open blood vessels allowing increased oxygen to flow freely to the brain. Poor blood flow within the brain is associated with aging and is believed to be the precursor to Alzheimer’s disease. So, get yourself a healthy dose of nitrites and antioxidants to help assist in dementia prevention.
5. Olive oil
Another source of healthy fats can be found in olive oil. Olive oil is often referred to as brain food because it helps improve memory recall and focus. Cognitive decline is fought through this oils ability to reduce inflammation and oxidative stress. Dementia and Alzheimer’s can also be stimulated by proteins called ADDLs. These ADDLs are toxic and harmful to your brain function.
Nuts, in general, are a great way to snack your body to a healthy brain. However, walnuts in particular are said to be the top choice when looking for a nut to combat brain issues. Similar to fish oil, they contain a high concentration of the Omega-3 acid DHA. DHA is found to have an incredible ability to improve cognitive performance in adults and reduce or prevent age-related mental health issues including dementia. To top it off, if you like walnuts, they are an easy way to reach your recommended daily value of DHA. You only need to incorporate a quarter cup into your diet to get there. That’s as simple as a healthy snack.