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Brain Food

Charlyn Fargo on

Is there a way to prevent Alzheimer's disease with the foods you eat?

Maybe.

Researchers behind a study published in the journal Neurology found that antioxidants have been shown to reduce inflammation that may contribute to Alzheimer's. In the study, participants who at the highest amount of flavonols, a type of antioxidant, were 48% less likely to develop Alzheimer's disease.

Here's how it works: Antioxidants are a type of molecule that neutralize free radicals and reduce their damage. Free radicals are molecules associated with aging, as well as cognitive diseases like Alzheimer's. Vitamins A, C and E are rich in antioxidants and are found abundantly in fruits and vegetables. B vitamins are also linked to brain health and development of new brain cells.

So, what are the foods that keep our minds young? Fill your plate with berries, nonstarchy veggies, olive oil, fish, poultry, leafy greens, nuts, whole grains, beans and red wine for starters.

Here's why.

 

Berries, such as strawberries, blueberries and raspberries, are packed with flavonoids, which have powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties to combat inflammation and stress, two factors that may contribute to cognitive impairment.

Nonstarchy veggies, such as asparagus, bell peppers, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and carrots, are fiber-rich and good sources of antioxidants such as vitamins A, C and E.

Olive oil contains mainly monounsaturated fatty acids. A 2012 study in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society found that, compared to other types of fat, monounsaturated fatty acids are associated with less cognitive decline over a three-year period.

Salmon, mackerel, trout, tuna, chicken and turkey breast all contain omega-3 fatty acids, which have been linked to lower blood levels of beta-amyloid, a protein that clusters in the brain and contributes to Alzheimer's disease.

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