5 Foods to Prevent Alzheimer’s

Marie Parks

This probably isn’t the first time you’ve seen information regarding foods and nutrients to support brain function. And if you Google this topic, you’re likely to wind up with a large number of suggestions. Are all of them accurate? Probably not.

However, there is a common thread between of the types of foods that are recommended. Most suggestions include increasing plant-based foods, berries, and green leafy veggies while limiting animal foods and foods high in saturated fat.

Since there are many foods that fall into the above categories, we won't cover them all here. Instead, we'll focus on a few of our favorite brain-boosting foods that won't only help ward off Alzheimer's, but can also help you stay sharp throughout your entire life.

MIND your Diet to Avert Alzheimer's

Recent research has proven that adhering to certain diets can result in cognitive benefits. For example, the MIND diet, which consists of 15 dietary components showed a 52% reduction in Alzheimer’s incidence, which was about the equivalent of being 11 years younger in age.1-3

In addition to encouraging plentiful consumption of 10 “brain healthy” food groups, there were five food groups of which consumption was reduced or avoided, including red meats, butter/stick margarine, cheese, pastries/sweets, and fried/fast food.

Ultimately, diets high in berries, mono- and unsaturated fats, and fish are encouraged.

Five Foods to Help your Brain Thrive

Blueberries

Blueberries are a fruit with one of the highest antioxidant capacities. Research has shown that diets high in antioxidants may fend off Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases.4-6

The anthocyanins in blueberries can cross the blood-brain barrier allowing them to specifically support parts of the brain required for memory and learning.7 For a power breakfast, add some to Greek yogurt, oatmeal, or your smoothie.

Curry

Curry is made up of the spice turmeric, contains a biomolecule called curcumin. Studies have revealed that curcumin can inhibit and remove amyloid beta plaque. Amyloid beta plaque build-up is associated with the development of Alzheimer’s.8-12

Curries can be made into a variety of flavors that go well with many foods, so try it with your favorite meal.

Salmon

Along with other fish like mackerel and sardines, salmon is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids make up important components of brain cell membranes. Therefore, by consuming these fatty acids, brain cells stay stable and strong, keeping your memory sharp.

Also, there’s research showing that omega-3 fatty acids can reduce the production of amyloid beta plaque.13-15 Bolster your brain by eating omega-3 rich fish two times a week!

Spinach

Popeye might have been onto something as he ate multiple cans of spinach a day. Consumption of spinach and other leafy greens like kale and collard greens could slow down the rate of cognitive decline. These veggies are rich in vitamin C, folate, and other antioxidants that are supportive of brain function.

However, recent research has shown that the brain-protective effects of leafy greens may be a result of their content of vitamin K. Vitamin K is essential for getting calcium absorbed into the bone, therefore keeping it out of the arteries. Evidence conveys that there may be a link between low bone density (leading to an increased risk of fractures) and cognitive decline.

The only people who need to be cautious about consuming these veggies are those taking blood thinners since they’re contraindicated with vitamin K.16-20

Chocolate

Those of you who have a sweet tooth know how overpowering the craving for chocolate can be. Well, we have some good news. The cocoa in chocolate is a rich source of flavanols, which have shown to work in multiple ways to protect brain function, particularly by blocking amyloid beta aggregation.21-24

However, it’s not all chocolate that’s associated with these types of health benefits. You want to opt for at least 70% dark chocolate. Also, keep in mind that chocolate can be high in sugar and fat, so pay attention to the serving size. Otherwise, you can have your chocolate, and eat it too!

References

1. Alzheimers Dement.2015;11(9):1007-14.
2. Available at: http://www.wsj.com/articles/a-diet-might-cut-the-risk-of-developing-alzheimers-1429569168.
3. Available at: http://experimentalbiology.org/PDFS/2015/ASN-Morris-Greens-FINAL.aspx.
4. J Am Coll Nutr. 2007 Apr;26(2):170-81.
5. Am J Med. 2006 Sep;119(9):751-9.
6. Subcell Biochem. 2007;42:299-318.
7. Nutr Neurosci. 2005 Apr;8(2):111-20.
8. PLoS One. 2012;7(8):e42923.
9. Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. 2012 Apr;16(4):445-54.
10. J Alzheimers Dis. 2015;44(1):283-95.
11. J Phys Chem B. 2012 Jun 28;116(25):7428-35.
12. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2012 Jun 15;422(4):551-5.
13. Reprod Nutr. Dev 45.1 (2005): 1-28.
14. J Clin Invest. 115.10 (2005): 2774-83.
15. J Alzheimers Dis.2015;49(4):1191
16. Available at: http://www.newswise.com/articles/eating-green-leafy-vegetables-keeps-mental-abilities-sharp
17. Med Hypotheses. 2001 Aug;57(2):151-5.
18. Geriatr Orthop Surg Rehabil. 2010 Nov; 1(2): 52–62.
19. J Alzheimers Dis. 2009 Jan 1; 18(4): 777–785.
20. Nihon Yakurigaku Zasshi. 1999 Mar;113(3):185-92.
21. J Alzheimers Dis. 2014;41(2):643-50.
22. J Diet Suppl.2016 Jul 3;13(4):449-60.
23. Curr Pharm Des. 2016;22(2):145-51.
24. J Alzheimers Dis. 2016 May 6.

7 comments :

kadad1 said...

"showed a 52% reduction in Alzheimer’s incidence.... This is a fine reduction in your chances of getting Alzheimer's, but it is not prevention.

Life Extension said...

kadad1- We believe the study is definitely worth mentioning. We appreciate your feedback! :-)

Hethre Honna said...

“While there is no cure to Alzheimer’s as yet, changes to diet, exercise plan and lifestyle can go a long way in suppressing the initial symptoms or to prevent the disease altogether. The food list mentioned in this blog post could prove useful”.

Life Extension said...

Hethre Honna - Thank you for stopping by our blog!

Anonymous said...

My sister says eat whole foods. But berries contain sugar. I say take supplements.

Life Extension said...

Anonymous - Keep in mind that whole fruits contain fiber, which slows digestion, blunting the effects of blood sugar spikes! :)

Nusrat Borsha said...

I agree with you. Actually in order to improve health condition stem cells alzheimer's treatment is quite fruitful and reliable. Your details will be good for guidance too.

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