(WXYZ) – Alzheimer’s Disease is the sixth leading cause of death among Americans. It’s irreversible and progressive, and more than 90% of those diagnosed didn’t see any symptoms until after the age of 60.
Scientists have been working to pinpoint the cause and a cure for this form of dementia that destroys memory and thinking skills.
I often talk about the impact of healthy foods.
A diet full of nutrient dense foods may improve your cognitive function or memory
So what are these nutrients and foods?
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids found in salmon, mackerel and tuna may boost your brain power and help your heart. A 2014 study of mice found had improved cognitive function while they aged.
- Also on the list are Nuts. Like fish, they contain Omega-3 Fatty Acids. Walnuts, in particular, have shown to fight memory loss. One study found participants’ performances on cognitive tests improved after adding walnuts to their diet.
- Magnesium is another important nutrient. A deficiency may play a role in cognitive decline and brain aging. Be sure to eat magnesium containing foods like spinach, almonds, black beans, and avocados.
- Also on the list are blueberries, a favorite fruit of mine. They contain compounds associated with an increased neuronal signaling in the brain’s memory areas.
- Cruciferous vegetables should be part of everyone’s diet. Broccoli and spinach, in particular, have been shown to reduce the rate of cognitive decline.
- And lastly, green tea is known to help protect your brain. A study found green tea extract enhanced participant’s working memory and thinking process.
Nutrient dense foods are important to help ward off or delay Alzheimer’s, but it’s very important to lead a healthy lifestyle overall.
- Make regular exercise a priority. It may directly benefit brain cells by increasing blood flow and oxygen.
- Keep Mentally Active. Brain activities can stimulate new connections between nerve cells.
- Protect Your Head. Serious head trauma is linked to future risk of Alzheimer’s so wear a seat belt and use a helmet for sports or bike riding.
- Get enough sleep. Studies have linked sleep deprivation to Alzheimer’s disease. Aim for 7-8 hours a night.
There is no proven way to prevent or cure Alzheimer’s disease. The best defense is to be your own health hero. Take charge of your health, make it a priority physically, mentally and socially and you’ll lower your risk for this debilitating disease.
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Data pulled from WXYZ