While dementia is not fully understood, researchers have found that there is a link between what you eat and your risk of developing Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. Some researchers believe that if you have an elderly loved one, you can help them prevent, or slow the onset of Alzheimer’s by watching what your family eats. FootPrints Home Care recommends that the next time you go grocery shopping, keep an eye out for these superfoods and try to incorporate them into your family’s regular diet.
Leafy green vegetables. Research published in the Journal of Food Science and Technology shows that vegetables are beneficial for your health. The study stated, “Increased intake of vegetables is associated with a lower risk of dementia and slower rates of cognitive decline in old age.” Leafy green vegetables in particular, like spinach, kale and broccoli are known to have protective effects on the brain.
Fish, nuts and legumes. Fish, nuts and legumes contain omega-3 fatty acids, which are beneficial for overall health. Omega-3 fatty acids can regulate triglyceride levels, decreasing your risk of heart-disease, they can aid anti-inflammatory medications to curb arthritis pain, and they can help lower levels of depression. The Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease has published a study showing that omega-3 fatty acids can also slow the rate of cognitive decline in Alzheimer’s patients.
Coffee, chocolate and spices. Caffeine found in coffee and dark chocolate has been shown to improve memory and brain function. The Journal of Nutrition published a study that showed that people 70 and over who took in more caffeine scored higher on mental function tests. Molecular Medicine Reports links daily caffeine intake with “significantly increased memory capability.” Antioxidants found in chocolate and coffee can also contribute to better brain health. Spices like cinnamon and turmeric have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and gluco-regulatory properties, which can also protect brain function.
Healthy oils. Cold-pressed virgin coconut oil is currently being studied for its effect on brain health. Some researchers are even looking at possibly replacing an approved Alzheimer’s treatment with coconut oil. Polyphenols found in extra-virgin olive oil are thought to be connected to brain health according to a study published in Nutritional Neuroscience.
Dementia is still being studied, and there is unfortunately no cure. But the good news is, with slight changes to your diet, you and your family can make a difference. In addition to an active lifestyle, eating healthy can help slow the effects of Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia. To learn more about how to care for your senior’s health, or to find out about our memory care services, contact FootPrints Home Care today! We are always here to help!