Have you or a loved one received the diagnoses of having Alzheimer’s disease?
Maybe you have a family history of the disease and are fearful it’s only a matter of time before you’re next. Either way, you might be feeling scared and powerless.
Though for now there’s no cure, new science has shown that there is hope.
Studies have shown that there is a very strong link between diet and Alzheimer’s disease. One study in London found that adhering to a brain-healthy diet can slow the process of cognitive impairment by 35%.
The “Mind Diet” includes healthy omega-3’s, lowers carbs, and includes lots of vegetables. Sticking to these foods if you have a history of Alzheimer’s or an early stage diagnosis is the best way to be proactive.
Here are 10 foods that have been proven to help slow or prevent Alzheimer’s disease.
1. Dark Chocolate
Chocolate is good for you and your brain? Though it sounds too good to be true, it’s not!
Dark chocolate contains resveratrol. This naturally occurring compound has been shown to slow down the effects of Alzheimer’s disease.
Just make sure that it is dark chocolate. Quality dark chocolate often lists a percentage of how dark it is. The higher the percentage, the more resveratrol you’re consuming.
Another way to get your dose of resveratrol is through red wine. Who knew that a glass of cabernet with a side of chocolate is just what the doctor ordered!
2. Vitamin A Vegetables
Eating veggies high in Vitamin A and folate is a great way to maintain brain function.
Load up on vegetables like squash and pumpkin (sorry, pumpkin spice lattes don’t count)! Get an extra helping of asparagus, tomato, carrots, and beets, too.
Just be careful when preparing them. Overcooking these veggies will eliminate the amount of vitamin A and folate. Whenever you can, eat them raw or lightly steamed.
3. Cruciferous Vegetables
Cruciferous vegetables are among the most healthy types of veggies you can eat. Not only do they help prevent cancer, but they’re great for the brain!
Kale, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and bok choy are all cruciferous veggies. They help lower your brain’s levels of an amino acid that impairs cognitive abilities.
Doctors generally recommend that you should be getting a serving of these vegetables a day. That’s in addition to a daily serving or two of Vitamin A vegetables.
4. Beans and Legumes
Beans and legumes contain high levels of folate, magnesium, potassium, and iron. That helps your neurons to keep firing normally.
They also contain B vitamins that are great for brain function.
Beans and legumes, of course, have a lot of fiber in them. Do you have a sensitive digestive system?
Avoid eating them in the same meal that also contains cruciferous vegetables. They can also be tough on digestion, especially when served raw.
Berries are great for preventing Alzheimer’s and other diseases. Their dark skins are full of antioxidants.
These fruits also have many anti-inflammatory properties. They’re also full of vitamin C and E.
Have a handful of berries with your breakfast every morning. Top your oatmeal with blueberries or raspberries.
You can make berry smoothies as well. Freezing berries and vegetable don’t eliminate any of their nutrients. Buy a bag of frozen mixed berries, add some protein powder, and enjoy a delicious brain healthy meal.
Almonds, cashews, pecans, and peanuts are all great foods for brain and body health.
They’re full of healthy fats that are good for the brain. Many nuts also have fiber, folate, vitamin E, and magnesium.
Reach for a handful of nuts when you need a quick snack. Just be careful with your portions. Though nuts are good for you, they can still be high in calories.
7. Whole Grains
Trade in your processed carbohydrates for whole grains. Researchers are finding that there is a strong link between eating carbs and Alzheimer’s disease.
The reason for that is processed carbs and processed sugars spike insulin production. Higher insulin levels can negatively affect the brain.
Instead of cereal, try steel cut oatmeal. Ditch the side of bread and butter with dinner for a sweet potato topped with coconut oil. Your brain will thank you!
8. Sunflower and Pumpkin Seeds
Another great brain-healthy snack is seeds. Sunflower and pumpkin seeds contain high levels of zinc and vitamin E.
Seeds are also high in choline. This nutrient has been proven to be beneficial for preventing and treating brain issues like Alzheimer’s and epilepsy.
Keep a bag in your purse or car to munch on throughout the day!
Spices, including cinnamon, cumin, sage, and turmeric have anti-inflammatory properties. They can help break up plaque on the brain, lowering inflammation that causes memory issues.
You can get capsules of these spices to take daily. Try incorporating these spices in many of your meal and snack recipes.
Having a diet rich in Omega-3s is one of the best ways to prevent and slow brain issues from progressing.
Omega-3’s can help prevent lesions from forming on the brain. These lesions can go on to cause dementia.
What are some omega-3 rich foods? Salmon, flaxseed, and olive oil. You can also take an omega-3 supplement. Just be sure that you’re getting a dose of omega-3s every day.
The Mind Diet isn’t a Cure
While the Mind Diet isn’t a cure, it’s one of your best defenses against the disease. Plus, this method of healthy eating also help prevents cancers, heart disease, and diabetes.
Do you have a loved one who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia? You want them to have the best, most compassionate care. If you’re looking into their assisted living options, contact us today.