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6 Top Foods to Ward Off Dementia

Exploring the link between diet and brain health is a key area of modern research in regard to dementia and Alzheimer's. The new research is investigating the possible prevention of Alzheimer's and dementia or delaying its onset with the right diet. These are the superfoods you need to include in your diet:

 

1. Leafy Green Vegetables

Leafy green vegetables like spinach and kale are recognized for their potential role in slowing cognitive decline, which is at the center of dementia and Alzheimer's disease. These vegetables have the ability to protect brain health since they are rich in nutrients like vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals that are known to be beneficial for brain health. Here are some leafy green vegetables to add to your salad:

  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Collard Greens
  • Swiss Chard
  • Broccoli Rabe (Rapini)
  • Mustard Greens
  • Turnip Greens
  • Romaine Lettuce
  • Arugula
  • Watercress

2. Berries and Fruits

Berries have significant anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, which have been shown to have potential benefits for brain health. These properties are the result of the high concentration of active compounds found in berries, such as flavonoids, anthocyanins, and other phytochemicals.

  • Blueberries
  • Strawberries
  • Blackberries
  • Raspberries
  • Cherries
  • Grapes
  • Apples
  • Pomegranates

3. Fish

Nutritional science has investigated the relationship between regular consumption of fish, particularly those high in omega-3 fatty acids like DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), and improved mental function and slower cognitive decline. Research has also shown that eating fresh fish has higher benefits than eating canned fish, since they contain higher dosages of toxic heavy metals, however eating too much fresh fish can also be hazardous for mercury poison. Fish high in omega-3 fatty acids are:

  • Salmon
  • Trout
  • Sardines
  • Mackerel
  • Herring
  • Albacore Tuna

4. Nuts

Nuts that are high in omega-3 fatty acids are also recognized for their role in promoting brain health and reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and cognitive decline. Here's more on which nuts contribute most to cognitive health:

  • Walnuts
  • Almonds
  • Hazelnuts
  • Pecans
  • Brazil Nuts
  • Cashews

5. Whole Grains and Beans

Whole grains and beans are essential for cognitive health since they have a high fibre content, low glycemic index, and rich supply of nutrients like B vitamins, antioxidants, magnesium, and zinc. These elements increase brain health by decreasing harmful sugar spikes, reducing oxidative stress, and supporting nerve function. They are often included in diets such as the Mediterranean and MIND diets which are associated with reduced cognitive decline. Increase the amount of:

  • Brown Rice
  • Oats
  • Quinoa
  • Barley
  • Whole Wheat
  • Buckwheat
  • Millet
  • Black Beans
  • Kidney Beans
  • Lentils
  • Chickpeas (Garbanzo Beans)
  • Soybeans (Edamame)

6. Olive Oil and Unsaturated Fats

Diets that are rich in healthy fats are associated with better brain health. They have been shown to improve glucose metabolism and regulate beta-amyloid protein levels, both linked to reduced Alzheimer's risk. Examples of healthy fats are:

  • Olive Oil
  • Nuts (such as almonds, walnuts, and pistachios)
  • Fatty Fish (like salmon, mackerel, and sardines)
  • Avocados
  • Seeds (including flaxseeds and chia seeds)
  • Legumes (such as lentils and chickpeas)

The evidence is promising, but it only forms a part of the picture. Other things which influence the onset of dementia are also genetic and environmental factors, as well as habits and overall health. Adding these foods into your diet and prioritizing physical activity and mental stimulation significantly reduces the risk of Alzheimer's and dementia.

Credits:
What Do We Know About Diet and Prevention of Alzheimer’s Disease?
Food and Eating
Diet and Dementia

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