Diet and nutrition play an important role in maintaining brain health and preventing cognitive decline. So today we will study some superfoods you must eat daily in order to keep your brain healthy. Apart from eating these foods, you need to also stay physically and socially active, minimize your intake of sugar and refined foods, take B-vitamins and reduce stress levels with Yoga and Meditation.
Here are top 11 superfoods to eat regularly n order to avoid dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
Eating just one serving of oily fish per week can halve your risk of Alzheimer’s. Vegetarians and vegans can take supplements containing fish oil. These provide you with Omega 3 essential fatty acids like EPA and DHA which are proven to reduce memory loss. Fish is also an excellent source of B vitamins, vitamin D and choline which are all necessary for a healthy brain.
Seeds like flax seeds, chia seeds and sunflower and pumpkin seeds can also provide you with many important B vitamins, minerals and omega 3 fatty acids. The greater your intake of seeds, the better would be your performance on memory tests. So go ahead and eat at least a handful every day.
3. Spinach (and other leafy greens)
Filling up on 3 or more servings of any healthy green leafy vegetable can slow down mental decline caused by aging by nearly 40%. In fact; consuming leafy green vegetables can actually make your brain work like the brain of someone who is 5-10 years younger. This is thanks to their brain friendly ingredients like carotenoids and flavonoids. Make sure you eat fresh spinach/kale that is not over cooked. Both heat and excess refrigeration can cause the nutrient levels in leafy green vegetables to plummet.
Apart from your brain, these super foods to reverse dementia also benefit your heart. They are particularly rich in ALA or alpha linolenic acid which is an important Omega 3 essential fatty acid as well as in Vitamin E, folate and fiber.
5. Black/green tea
Green tea is especially great for dementia prevention. Brewed green tea contains amino acid theanine as well as flavonoids that activate that part of the brain circuitry which is tied to attention span.The catechins in tea also prevent damage and destruction of brain cells.
Studies on mice treated with turmeric or curcumin extracts showed lower rate of cognitive decline. Also, Indians are believed to have lower rates of Alzheimer’s thanks to their intake of curry with turmeric. This anti-inflammatory spice can lower risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease by nearly 75%.
Researchers have identified two anti-dementia components in pomegranates namely ellagic acid and punicalagin. Both these compounds inhibit serine protease associated with dementia.
Indian herbalists recommend eating a handful of almonds before an exam. The high omega 3 and B vitamin content of these foods for dementia prevention can help with retention and concentration. Eating a handful of almonds daily can prevent cognitive decline as the high Vitamin E content helps slow down aging of brain cells that are linked to memory. Magnesium in almonds can also strengthen the neurons in the brain.
Avocados are extremely rich in good fats like oleic acid that builds up the myelin in brain which is linked to information retention and signal transmission. Their high folic acid content reduces risk of nerves tangling which is a common cause of Alzheimer’s. Pantothenic acid and vitamin K lower oxidative stress and enhance neurotransmitter health. It is no wonder that Avocados can increase cognitive ability, improve memory and prevent dementia.
Blueberries contain antioxidants such as carotenoids, lutein, zeaxanthin and flavonoids like quercetin and resveratrol. These nutrients work together to prevent premature aging that benefits eye health, skin health and also brain health. Their high vitamin and mineral content improve brain function and reverse memory loss. They also have the ability to protect brain cells and restoring the central nervous system. This ability makes blueberries one of the most important foods for dementia patients.
11. Celery and celery seeds
Celery could prevent memory lapses thanks to presence of over 20 antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds that make it a popular brain boosting superfoods.
Foods to avoid to prevent dementia
- Coffee– Drinking excess of coffee increases homocysteine levels that deplete B vitamins. Simply drinking 2 cups of coffee can raise homocysteine by nearly 11% in 4 hours.
- Sugar and carbohydrates– The more sugar you eat, the greater would be your insulin levels which impact memory and cognitive function. Studies have shown that eating white bread is linked to poorer cognitive test results whereas complex carbs or high fiber bread is linked to better performance.
- Processed foods– This category includes processed meats, cheeses, sausages, etc. Limit your consumption of these foods.
- Foods with diacetyl or nitrates– These include beer, margarine and microwave popcorn.
Now you know the best foods for Alzheimer’s prevention and also foods that cause dementia. We hope this guide will help you make healthier and wiser food choices for your brain!