Alzheimer’s: The word conjures up scary thoughts of slowly losing your memory as you become a shell of your former self. Experts project that diagnoses of dementia, of which Alzheimer’s is the primary cause, will triple worldwide by 2050. But scientists tell us that preventive measures can go a long way in protecting the brain from memory loss diseases, and they are as simple as doing things like making changes in your diet.
Here are 10 super foods that work to boost brain power and, in turn, lessen your chances of suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. No one food has been shown to prevent Alzheimer’s, but healthy eating habits appear to be one of the top factors in lowering your risk for developing Alzheimer’s or dementia.
1. Wild Salmon, Tuna, Sardines (Omega-3 Fatty Acids)
The American Heart Association recommends eating fish at least twice a week because it contains vital omega-3 fatty acids. These good fats help the body function properly and may slow cognitive decline by 10 percent, studies show.
“The main concept is that a diet rich in Omega 3 fatty acids creates BDNF (brain derived neurotrophic factor), a protein between nerve cells that helps increase the strength between connections,” said Michael Gonzalez-Wallace, author of “Super Body Super Brain.” Trout, mackerel, and herring are also good choices, and taking a fish oil vitamin can also help your body obtain this much-needed nutrient.
2. Spinach, Collard and Turnip Greens, Asparagus (Folic Acid)
Dark leafy greens and woody asparagus stalks are both very high in folic acid – also known as vitamin B9 – as well as many other nutrients. Folic acid improves cognitive function and high levels of it decreases the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, according to one three-year clinical trial. Eat your greens raw for the most benefit.
3. Eggs (Choline)
Eggs get a bad rap and it seems that every other year the scientific community changes its opinion on whether eggs should be incorporated into the diet. However, what is known conclusively about eggs is that they are a good source of choline, a B vitamin that helps improve memory. Unless your doctor advises against it, eat eggs in moderation to keep your brain in good health.
4. Olive Oil, Avocados, Nuts and Seeds (Unsaturated Fats)
These foods, common in the Mediterranean diet, support your heart and in turn, your brain, by increasing good cholesterol levels when eaten in moderation. In addition, a component in olive oil called oleocanthal is believed to deter a toxic protein from binding to nerves in the brain – a first step in the development of Alzheimer’s disease. “We conclude that higher adherence to the MeDi [Mediterranean Diet] is associated with a reduction in risk for AD [Alzheimer’s Disease],” said one study published in the Annals of Neurology…
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