Did you know that one out of three people over the age of 80 gets Alzheimer’s disease? In fact, according to the Alzheimer’s Association, more than 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s, which is the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States.
Alzheimer’s can creep into your life slowly. Starting with simple forgetfulness, the disease can quickly escalate to wreak havoc.
Instead of sitting back and hoping you are one of the fortunate ones who will not get this degenerative disease, fight it with the proper diet. In fact, eating the right diet cuts the risk of Alzheimer’s by 40 percent.
Try eating these types of foods:
1. Omega-3 fatty acids.
Recent research shows that eating a diet rich in Omega-3 fatty acids can reduce the onset of Alzheimer’s disease by 10 percent. The key is eating Omega-3s known as DHA that are found in such fatty fish as white herring, salmon and white tuna. High levels of DHA are needed for healthy brain development.
However, Omega-3s of all varieties, including walnuts, extra virgin olive oil and flaxseed, prevent inflammation of the brain that results in unhealthy protein build-up that can contribute to the onset of Alzheimer’s.
2. Foods high in flavonoids.
Foods and beverages high in flavonoids are high in antioxidants, which are important for brain and body health as they combat free radicals and their damaging effects. Flavonoids are protective chemicals, known as polyphenols, found in plants.
People who eat a diet rich in flavonoids are less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, research shows.
Foods that are high in flavonoids include fruits, such as blueberries, apples, grapefruit and cranberries, as well as vegetables, such as Brussel sprouts, asparagus, kale, cabbage, kohlrabi, lima and kidney beans, garlic, spinach, peas and onions.
3. Foods rich in vitamins E and C
Busy brains create chemical reactions, and the by-products are free radicals. Free radicals are unstable molecules that can damage cells; in the brain, they can lead to deterioration and mental decline. Foods high in vitamin E and C fight the free radicals and support healthy brain function.
Foods rich in Vitamin E include:
- Sweet potatoes.
- Sunflower seeds.
- Buttermilk squash.
Foods rich in Vitamin C include:
- Red peppers.
- Brussel sprouts.
4. Curry powder/turmeric
Turmeric is a potent anti-inflammatory and helps to reduce brain plaque in the brain that can cause memory issues. Curry powder is used abundantly in India, where the rates of Alzheimer’s are considerably lower. A major ingredient in curry powder is turmeric, which contains curcumin.
Research shows that those who eat foods made with curry powder, or eat or drink turmeric regularly, have better brain performance overall. Turmeric also can protect the cardiovascular system and lower cholesterol.
5. Foods rich in folate
A deficiency in B vitamins, especially folate, can lead to memory loss and difficulty performing cognitive tasks.
Foods high in folate include:
- Pinto beans.
Other areas of your health are also important to help reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s. Encourage healthy habits such as exercise, healthy weight and adequate sleep.
What foods do you eat to fight off Alzheimer’s? Share your thoughts in the section below: