More and more evidence shows that what we eat strongly effects our brain health, and even may prevent neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's for which there is no cure. Here's some ideas to get you started.
A new study at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago suggest that there are certain foods that can help prevent Alzheimer's disease. The researchers developed a diet program called the MIND diet. They said it may reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease by 53 percent.
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia, accounting for 60-80% of cases that we see. This disease is not a part of normal aging, and can worsen over time. Early symptoms are of Alzheimer’s include difficulty remembering names and events, and can progress to depression, confusion, and difficulty carrying out daily activities. The progression of this disease, and the deterioration of those who suffer from it is even more worrisome as there is currently no cure for Alzheimer’s disease.
MIND diet foods to prevent and fight Alzheimer’s disease:
· Beans. Beans are high in protein and fiber. They are also low in fat and calories. Aim to eat beans at least three times a week.
· Olive oil. Olive oil, compared all other types of cooking oil, provides the most protection for brain health.
· Whole grains. Rich in fiber. Get at least three servings a day.
· Vegetables. Green leafy vegetables like kale, spinach, broccoli, and collards are rich in vitamins A and C. Aim for at least two servings a week, but if you can, get six or more servings a week as this many gives the most optimal benefits for brain health. You should also try to eating a salad and at least one other veggie every day.
· Fish. Eating fish at least once a week can help protect brain function.
· Nuts. Nuts are loaded with healthy fats, fiber and antioxidants, which are all excellent for brain health. Nuts can also help lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease. Aim to eat a handful of nuts about five times a week. Be careful though, nuts are often high in calories.
· Wine. One glass of wine each day may be good for protecting cognitive function.
· Berries. Blueberries and strawberries are a great for brain health. Both are beneficial in regards to improving cognitive function. Aim to eat berries at least twice a week.
· Poultry. Try to get at least two or more servings a week.
SAMADI TIP: EMBRACE THE MEDITERRANEAN DIET
“I have long been an advocate of the Mediterranean diet. It’s a wholesome way of eating without depriving yourself from delicious foods. This study is quite interesting because it leads us further into understanding the effects of lifestyle changes on the development of Alzheimer’s disease. If we make better choices about eating it may stop Alzheimer’s from progressing. We didn’t always know nutrition played a role but we’re learning more and more.”
Foods to avoid to prevent Alzheimer’s disease:
· Butter and margarine. Limit to less than a tablespoon each day.
· Fried food. Limit eating fried foods and fast food to no more than once a week.
· Cheese. Limit eating cheese to no more than once a week.
· Red meat. Limit eating red meat to no more than four servings a week.
· Sweets. Limit eating sweets to no more than five each week.