The food you eat can impact your brain health. Things like trans fats and excess sugar can slow the brain down. But if you include the following foods in your diet, you just might reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.
- Walnuts – these little guys pack a big nutritional punch! They are an excellent source of Omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin E and flavonoids, which can help protect the brain. A study from the New York State Institute for Basic Research in Developmental Disabilities found that mice given a diet including walnuts showed improvement in memory and motor coordination.
- Salmon – also rich in Omega 3s, salmon, mackerel, sardines and other fatty fish offer protective brain benefits. They can lower blood levels of beta-amyloid, a protein that’s thought to play a role in Alzheimer’s.
- Berries – loaded with antioxidants, a study from Tufts University found that berries may provide protection against Alzheimer’s as well as age-related memory loss and other types of cognitive decline. Berries can also change the way that neurons in the brain communicate, and this may prevent inflammation in the brain that can damage neurons. Components in berries also improve cognition and motor control.
- Spinach – it’s not just for Popeye! Spinach, kale and other leafy greens are full of antioxidants and fiber. In a national study, women in their 60’s who ate more leafy greens over time performed better on memory, verbal, and other tests. And new studies show that high levels of vitamin C, which is found in spinach, may help prevent Alzheimer’s and dementia.
- Turmeric – Recent research on this spice commonly used in curries has shown that it may help prevent Alzheimer’s. In a study from UCLA, scientists found that vitamin D3, taken with turmeric, may help the immune system get rid of the amino acids that form plaque in the brain associated with Alzheimer’s disease.