Alzheimer’s is not a natural part of aging and research is still being done to investigate how the condition develops. Most usually it’s through a combination of genetic or environmental factors, and although It may be difficult to change genetic factors, poor diet and lack of exercise are major risks that can be modified. There is enough good evidence to suggest that consuming a healthy balanced diet and taking regular exercise will greatly reduce your risk of dementia in later years.
Studies have shown that what we eat can affect the brain’s ability to think and recall as it ages, and changes in the brain can take place years before any of the first signs or symptoms of dementia appear, the earlier you can start and continue to maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle the better. Adopting a paleo-style gluten-free low-carb diet can prevent Alzheimer’s disease and other brain disorders. Check out the list below for specific tasty and nutritious dementia fighting foods you can start adding to your plate today.
1. Eat More Leafy Greens: Reports have shown that just one serving of leafy green vegetables per day can slow down age-related cognitive decline. Spinach, kale and lettuce are all good sources containing high amounts of B Vitamins, I find adding a variety of greens to stews is a great way to get the family eating plenty of them, you could also purée and make up some sauces.
2. Binge More Berries: Berries are packed with antioxidants you should eat them at least twice a week, they contain massive amounts of flavonoids which are well known for their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory characteristics. They amazingly cross the blood brain barrier into the hippocampus, an area of the brain known for memory and learning!. Blueberries cherries blackberries strawberries and raspberries are great choices.
3. Go Nuts: Research has shown that eating a variety of nuts such as walnuts, peanuts, cashews, almonds and pistachios can strengthen the brainwave frequencies associated with memory and learning. In an experiment where rats were fed walnuts it was shown that they had the power to reduce the build up of proteins in the brains that leads to an interference with healthy cognition. The build up of too many proteins in the brain is one of the largest characteristics of Alzheimer’s disease.
4. Cruciferous Vegetables: Yup, not an overhyped buzzword, this is actually a really term. Cruciferous Vegetables are a great sources of plant based compounds that help to fight and lower inflammation. Check the stem of the vegetable & this will self explain this unusual term. Brussel sprouts, cabbage and broccoli are good examples of these veggies, they contain high levels of a natural chemical thioglycoside which has been shown in research to suppress the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.
5. Pumpkin Flax & Sunflower Seeds: These contain lots of vitamin E, choline and zinc known to reduce the effects of cognitive decline.
6. Spices & Herbs: such as sage, turmeric, ashwagandha, ginseng cumin and cinnamon are all great examples offering massive brain health benefits.
Try this anti-inflammatory moon milk recipe below for a stress relieving, calming, and Alzheimer’s fighting bedtime drink.
7. Omega-3’s: Keep your brain healthy by eating plenty of small oily fish such as salmon, mackerel and tuna as studies have shown that omega-3’s help to fight and prevent Alzheimer’s.
Ashwagandha & Tumeric Anti-Inflammatory Moon Milk
This easy to make bedtime drink will lower any feelings of anxiety, ashwagandha is a great natural anti-inflammatory and is known for improving memory whilst turmeric has anti-stress and healing properties.
INGREDIENTS (for 1 person)
1 cup of whole or unsweetened nut milk
1/2 tsp of ground turmeric
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ashwagandha
Slowly heat the milk, before it begins to boil add All the ingredients and whisk vigorously
before simmering for a few minutes. Once you have simmered bring to the boil and immediately
pour into your mug climb into bed and enjoy.
Not performing any form of regular exercise can greatly increase your chances of suffering from heart disease and type 2 diabetes, both of which are linked to a higher risk of Alzheimer’s in later life, and according to the Alzheimer’s Research and Prevention Foundation, regular physical exercise can reduce your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease by up to 50 percent. It’s recommended that you do 150 minutes per week of moderate and intense activity such as a brisk walk, swimming or cycling. When you strengthen your muscles you strengthen your brain ! If you’re over the age of 65, by adding 2-3 strength workouts to your routine every week could cut your risk of getting Alzheimer’s in half. If you’re currently not taking any form of exercise and overwhelmed by the mere though of it just start off small, any amount of exercise is better than none at all and even a small amount to begin with can make a massive impact on your overall health and wellbeing.
To summarize, Alzheimer’s can develop through poor diet and lack of exercise and changes take place in the brain many years before the first signs and symptoms begin to appear, the earlier you can start and to continue to maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle the better. Consider a paleo-style gluten-free low-carb diet and add some dementia fighting foods to your plate. Make sure you are getting enough regular exercise, start off small if the thought overwhelms you as any amount is better than none at all.