These Foods May Give Your Brain a Boost
To help slow memory loss and keep your mind sharp, add these foods to your diet.
Women are more likely than men to have dementia or Alzheimer's disease. Although you can't change some risk factors for this disease, wouldn't it be great if you could improve your brain health just by improving your diet?
The good news is that you can! The following strategies not only help improve your overall health, but can give your brain a boost.
Green Up Your Diet
Eating lots of vegetables, especially green leafy ones, may slow mental decline.
- Stock up on kale, broccoli, mustard greens, spinach and romaine lettuce
- Choose an assortment of colors when you fill your plate
Eat the Right Fats
Several studies show the risk of Alzheimer's disease almost doubles for people who eat the most saturated and trans fats. Alternatively, monounsaturated and omega-3-rich fats seem to have the opposite effect.
- Choose lean meats, low-fat or non-fat dairy, avocados, olive and canola oils, nuts and seeds
- Select fatty fish, such as salmon, mackerel or sardines
Boost Your "B's"
Some research shows a link between high levels of homocysteine (an amino acid in the blood) and an increased risk of developing Alzheimer's. B vitamins can lower homocysteine levels.
- Eat plenty of green leafy vegetables, beans and whole grains
- Don't forget other sources of B vitamins, including lean meats and organic low-fat dairy
Pre-diabetes and diabetes can cause damage to small blood vessels in the brain.
- Limit sugar and white flour
- Eat plenty of fiber-rich foods, such as vegetables, beans and whole grains
Monitor Blood Pressure
High blood pressure can damage blood vessels in the brain and reduce the brain's oxygen supply.
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Cut back on sodium and fill your plate with fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and whole grains
Watch Your Weight
Excess weight can do harm to your brain even without other risk factors such as diabetes or high blood pressure. Fat cells may release hormones and cause inflammation that can be harmful to the brain. Those who carry weight in their middle seem to be most at risk.
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Date Last Reviewed: August 28, 2019
Editorial Review: Andrea Cohen, Editorial Director, Baldwin Publishing, Inc. Contact Editor
Medical Review: Nora Minno, RD, CDN