What Foods Fight Dementia?
If you want to prevent dementia or rescue your memory, choosing the right foods is one of the most important strategies. Your brain uses 20-30% of the calories you consume. If you eat a junk-food diet, you will have a junk-food mind that is less capable of quick thinking and sharp decision-making. A number of studies have found that a healthy diet is associated with significantly lower risks of severe memory problems, such as Alzheimer’s disease.
Here are 7 Foods that Help Protect Your Memory
1. Colorful vegetables and fruits
Go for the greens (and reds, yellows, blues, and other hues) in your meals. Produce is packed with nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that provide a powerful brain boost. Foods from plants of every color, even white, help reduce the inflammation that contributes to Alzheimer’s disease.
Your brain is about 80% water. Not staying adequately hydrated can lead to brain fog. Research has shown that performance in tasks requiring memory, as well as attention, are diminished when you are just 2% dehydrated. And your brain can actually shrink in volume when it’s dehydrated.
3. Cruciferous vegetables
Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, and other cruciferous vegetables contain sulforaphane, which powerfully assists in DNA repair. They’re also high in folate and carotenoids, which lower homocysteine. High levels of this amino acid are linked to cognitive decline and dementia.
Acai, raspberries, and blueberries are high in antioxidants, which decrease the destruction caused by free radicals in the body and provide numerous benefits for the brain. In one study, people who consumed more berries experienced a slower rate of cognitive decline—up to 2.5 years—as they age.
5. Herbs and spices
Research shows that herbs and spices can be powerful memory enhancers. For example, rosemary and sage have been found to improve memory and offer protection from the cognitive decline associated with dementia. And cinnamon has been found to improve working memory in older adults.
6. Fatty fish
Fatty fish like wild salmon, sardines, and mackerel are healthy fats. They are high in omega-3 fatty acids, and in particular in two types of these fatty acids, EPA and DHA, that are crucial for optimal brain health. A growing body of evidence shows that higher levels of EPA and DHA are associated with a reduced incidence of dementia and slower cognitive decline.
Eating nuts has been found to boost brain power as we age. In one study with nearly 5,000 people over the age of 55, eating at least two teaspoons of nuts per day was associated with improved memory and increased cognitive function by as much as 60%, compared with people who didn’t eat nuts. In a separate study appearing in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, mice that were bred to have Alzheimer’s disease were fed either a standard diet or one supplemented with walnuts. Over the course of the study, the mice eating the standard diet suffered memory deficits and impaired learning ability, while the mice eating walnuts showed a significant improvement in memory and learning ability.
If you or a loved one is suffering from memory issues, understand that there are many things you can do to prevent or reverse memory loss. At Amen Clinics, we use brain SPECT imaging as part of a comprehensive evaluation to help us develop a personalized treatment plan to prevent or reverse memory issues. Our Memory Rescue program has already helped many patients improve their memory.
Reach out today to speak with a specialist at 888-288-9834 or schedule a visit online.