Just like the rest of your body, your brain needs the highest quality nutrition to work well. Preventing Alzheimer’s (AD) with a healthy diet is great, but specifically choosing the foods that help protect you from this disease is even better. We show you how, right here.
The general dietary recommendations to help prevent Alzheimer’s include:
- following a Mediterranean diet. What does that mean? Get plenty of fish, nuts, whole grains, olive oil and fresh produce. Treat yourself to the occasional glass of red wine and piece of dark chocolate.
- avoiding trans fats and saturated fats. Lower your consumption of red meat, fast food, fried fod and packaged/processed junk.
- heart-healthy choices. When you protect your heart, you also protect your brain!
- plenty of omega-3 fatty foods. Get some cold-water fish like salmon, tuna, trout, mackerel and sardines down you! You could also try a sustainable, healthy fish oil. Ask as your local health food shop which ones are the healthiest.
- eating a rainbow diet. Ever heard of that concept. It simply means eating fruit and vegetables that are different colours. Berries, leafy greens – all the colourful fresh plants you can eat will help.
- drinking tea. Oh yes, green tea! Oolong and white tea are also amazing for brain health. Try 2-5 cups a day.
Researchers believe that glial cells may help remove the debris and toxins that contribute to AD from the brain.
Specific foods that prevent AD
1. Citrus Fruits
Studies in Korea have led scientists to think that AD may be linked to impaired glucose regulation in the brain. A wholefood citrus fruit extract was given to rats and prevented both AD and diabetes, so load up on the lemons, oranges, tangerines, kumquats, limes, grapefruit and tangerines!
Curries often contain turmeric, which is primarly responsible for their antioxidant action. Curcumin and several related compounds belong to the polyphenol family. Curcumin decreased the amyloid pathology of AD in studies on animals. Get down to your nearest curry house soon!
Green tea and red wine both contain polyphenols too. Researchers used purified extracts of EGCG and resveratrol in tests and interruted the process that allows harmful clumps of protein to latch onto and destroy brain cells. Always consume red wine in moderation. Doctors recommend 1 glass per day.
4. Vitamin D
It seems that Alzheimer’s disease and dementia are more common in people with low levels of vitamin D in their body. More research is needed, but experts say that taking 10,000 IU per day can certainly do you no harm. Getting regular, safe exposure to the sun is also key in raising your vitamin D levels, so step outside and enjoy the rays this spring.
Caffeine has been linked to a lower amount of plaque and tangles in the brain, which researchers believe is one of the key causes for this memory-robbing disease. The antioxidant content of coffee is also beneficial in the prevention of AD. Moderation is also key here. Coffee is addictive and coming off it is also problematic for many people. Green coffee is now becoming popular, and may be healthier.
6. Vitamin B-12
This vitamin helps maintain healthy nerve and red blood cells. A deficiency can also cause memory loss. They haven’t proven that vitamin B-12 actually helps enhance memory yet, but we need vitamin B-12 to be healthy and maintain a healthy brain so it’s worth adding to your list of supplements and making sure you get enough fish, meat and other animal products in your diet to stop yourself from getting deficient.