The month of June marks Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month, which may have you asking, “what exactly is Alzheimer’s disease (AD), and what can I possibly do to prolong the occurrence of this lethal disease in myself?” The answer partially lies within your refrigerator: feed your mind with brain food.
Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive neurological disorder that damages memory, thinking, and behavior. As it worsens over time, the severity of Alzheimer’s can transpire to the point of impairing simple tasks of living. The initiation of this disease is most common among the elderly population, but early-onset can commence during one’s 40s and 50s. While there is no current cure for AD, there is an ongoing effort to delay symptoms, such as recent research pertaining to the MIND diet.
The MIND-Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay-diet focuses heavily on incorporating 10 “brain healthy” food groups as staples in the diet: green leafy vegetables, other vegetables, nuts, berries, beans, whole grains, fish, poultry, olive oil, and wine. The five unhealthy food groups to steer clear of include red meats, butter and stick margarine, cheese, pastries and sweets, and fried and fast food. However, the concept of this brain food diet is still lacking scientific evidence, but future endeavors in regards to advancements in this area may provide solid proof that these foods could fight against AD.
Providing proper nutrition to your noodle is essential in maintaining mental health. Below are 10 of the top foods and nutrients to be mindful of to best help deter the degeneration of the brain:
Whole grains: Contain blood glucose-regulating fiber, which stabilizes the release of energy to the brain and promotes mental awareness
Oily fish: Rich source of the essential fatty acids (EFAs) EPA and DHA, which are utilized by the body in a ready-made form and may lower the risk of Alzheimer’s
Blueberries: Could potentially improve or delay short-term memory loss
Tomatoes: Contain lycopene, an antioxidant that fights against the type of cell damage relevant to the progression of Alzheimer’s
Certain B vitamins: B6, B12, and folic acid especially- decrease homocysteine levels in the blood that contribute to cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s
Vitamin C: May increase mental agility. Foods with high sources include yellow bell peppers, guava, and dark, leafy green vegetables
Pumpkin seeds: Good source of zinc, which promotes enhanced memory and thinking skills
Broccoli: Provides ample vitamin K, which increases cognitive function and brain power
Sage: In oil or fresh stage has been shown to improve memory
Nuts: Contain vitamin E, which could help avert cognitive decline
The next time you are feeling a bit brain dead, consider chomping on one of the foods listed above that may cater to maintaining cognition.