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9 Natural Foods That Can Help Prevent Alzheimer’s

9 Natural Foods That Can Help Prevent Alzheimer’s

Image source: lifestyleplanet

The statistics don’t lie — there are 5.4 million Americans suffering from Alzheimer’s. One in 8 older Americans will develop this terrible disease, and the statistics are expected to double over the next 40 years.

You can help prevent Alzheimer’s by eating a healthy diet full of all-natural foods that are proven to fight neurological diseases. And these foods are delicious as well, so you’ll have no problem adding them to your diet!

1. Apples

An apple a day may keep Alzheimer’s away. After all, apples have the highest levels of Quercetin. And a study conducted by Cornell University showed that Quercetin protects the brain from the effects of Alzheimer’s and other neurological diseases. Other studies show that eating apples reduce the risk of cancer. Try a healthy snack each day such as an apple with nut butter.

2. Asparagus

A study in Korea found that individuals who were deficient in folate were 3.5 times more likely to develop dementia. And those with low levels of folate were at a significantly increased risk of developing dementia. To help improve your brain health, try adding grilled or steamed asparagus to your meals. Since one cup of asparagus contains about 66 percent of your daily folate needs, you shouldn’t have any problem getting enough folate in your diet.

3. Berries

Berries like blueberries, raspberries and strawberries are a wonderful way to get your antioxidants and phytochemicals that help to prevent Alzheimer’s.

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A 2012 study from Harvard found that older women who ate the most servings of berries a week — such as strawberries or blueberries — delayed memory decline by two-and-a-half years. Aim to eat berries at least three times a week. Try berries with homemade yogurt or with whipped cream on top for a healthy dessert.

4. Clams

Researchers at Oxford discovered that individuals with higher levels of vitamin B12 were six times less likely to experience brain shrinkage. And other studies showed that low levels of B12 significantly increase the risk for dementia, heart attack and other ailments. For a great source of vitamin B12, eat clams. Just 20 clams have 3,132 percent of your RDA for B12. Other rich sources of vitamin B12 are oysters, fish, mussels, shrimp, scallops and liver. Vegetarian forms of vitamin B12 can be found in seaweeds, nutritional yeast and fermented foods like miso and tempeh.

5. Dark Chocolate

Studies have shown that antioxidants in chocolate help the brain. Likewise, eating chocolate helps to protect the brain against conditions like dementia and stroke. A Harvard study found that drinking two cups of hot cocoa a day improved memory and blood flow to the brain. But avoid chocolate laden with sugar and other unhealthy ingredients. Instead, eat only dark chocolate that is 70 percent or more cocoa. And feel free to enjoy small portions of dark chocolate a few times a week as a yummy treat to prevent Alzheimer’s and even heart disease!

6. Green Tea

Image source: humannhealth

Image source: humannhealth

Green tea is one of the world’s healthiest drinks.  Numerous studies can attest to the health beneficial properties of green tea including its ability to prevent neurodegenerative disease and prevent cancer. A study published in Psychopharmacology in March 2014 showed that drinking green tea can improve cognitive brain function and can be used to help Alzheimer’s and dementia patients. It has also been shown to aid in weight loss because it speeds up your metabolism. You’ll want to drink at least three cups a day to get the most health benefits.

7. Turmeric

Turmeric is a spice used since ancient times and is commonly used as a spice in curry dishes. Countries like India that eat curry regularly have lower rates of Alzheimer’s. Plaque in the brain may contribute to Alzheimer’s disease, but a study found that turmeric removes plaque from the brain. Turmeric may also prevent cancer, heart disease and improve the quality of your skin. Add this powerful spice to curry, soup or chicken a couple of times a week to reap all the health benefits.

8. Walnuts

Walnuts are delicious and have Omega-3 fatty acids, the good fat your brain needs. And they are also rich in vitamin E, which also protects the brain. The New York State Institute for Basic Research in Developmental Disabilities did a study on walnuts and found that when mice were given walnuts, they showed improvement in memory and motor coordination.  To protect your brain, try adding 1 ounce of walnuts to your diet every day in salads or with dried fruit.

9. Wild Salmon

One way to prevent Alzheimer’s is to eat more foods with Omega-3s. And fatty fish like wild salmon is a good source of Omega-3, which lowers beta-amyloid, a protein known to cause Alzheimer’s. A study done by Columbia University found that the more Omega-3s a person eats, the lower their level of beta-amyloid in their blood.

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Aim to eat at least two to three servings of wild salmon or other wild fatty fish each week to supply your body with inflammation-fighting compounds. You can also talk to your doctor about taking a fish oil supplement.

Brain-Boosting Smoothie Recipes

Smoothies are delicious and easy to make. And with the right ingredients, they can help to prevent Alzheimer’s as well. Here are 3 brain-boosting smoothies adapted from alzheimers.net. Just throw the ingredients into the blender in the morning, and you’ll improve your memory and brain function throughout the day.

Walnut Blueberry Smoothie:

  • 1 banana
  • 1/4 cup blueberries
  • Handful of walnuts or hemp seeds
  • 1/2 cup apple juice 
  • 1 cup kale
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 cup frozen cherries
  • 1 frozen banana
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • ½ frozen banana
  • ½ cup frozen cherries
  • ¼ cup blueberries
  • ½ cup green tea brewed and cooled
  • ½ cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • Agave or honey to sweeten (optional)

Chocolate Cherry Smoothie:

  • 1 cup kale
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 cup frozen cherries
  • 1 frozen banana
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder

Green Tea Smoothie:

  • ½ frozen banana
  • ½ cup frozen cherries
  • ¼ cup blueberries
  • ½ cup green tea brewed and cooled
  • ½ cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • Agave or honey to sweeten (optional)

Do you have any favorite brain-boosting recipes? Share them in the comments section below.  

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