Many varying factors contribute to the development of Alzheimer’s, one being a person’s diet. Family history and other influences such as smoking, exercise, and education can all affect a person’s likelihood of an Alzheimer’s diagnosis as well.
When solely looking at the connection between memory loss and diet, researchers have found that diets high in cholesterol and fat might speed up the formation of sticky protein clusters found in the brain which are typically at fault for much of the damage that occurs in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s.
If wanting to help boost brain health and potentially slow down memory loss, consider switching up your daily diet.
Foods to Boost Brain Function
Green leafy vegetables
Frequent servings of green leafy vegetables such as kale, spinach, broccoli, collards and other greens are packed with vitamins A and C and other nutrients that provide the greatest brain benefits.
Some researchers recommend eating a salad and at least one other vegetable every day to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s.
Blueberries are one of the more potent foods in terms of protecting the brain. Strawberries have also proven to benefit cognitive functions. It’s recommended to eat a serving of berries 2-3 times a week.
Nuts are a good snack for brain health. Nuts contain healthy fats, fiber and antioxidants. Other studies have found they help lower bad cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease. Eating nuts at least 5 times a week can greatly help cognitive function.
Another part of a brain-healthy eating plan. Recommended by researchers to consume 2-4 servings per week.
High in fiber and protein, and low in calories and fat, beans also help keep your mind sharp. To help reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s, researchers suggest eating beans three times a week.
Recommended to have at least 3 servings per day.
Eating fish at least once a week can help protect brain function, but there is no need to go overboard. One serving of fish per week is plenty to support brain health.
Foods to Limit for Better Brain Function
It’s recommended to limit red meat consumption to no more than four servings a week.
Butter and stick margarine
Should be limited to less than a tablespoon per day. Olive oil can often be used instead when cooking.
Eat cheese no more than once a week if you want to reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s.
Pastries and sweets
You already know they aren’t good for your waistline, and now research shows that pastries and other sweets could have a negative effect on brain health as well. It is recommended that you treat yourself to no more than five of these treats per week.
Fried foods and fast food
For ideal brain health, limit your fast/fried food indulgence to no more than once a week.
Additional Tips to Protect Your Brain Health As You Age
Control your cholesterol, blood sugar, and blood pressure levels with diet, exercise, and medicines such as statins or beta-blockers if you need them.
Exercising three or more times a week has been linked to a lower risk for dementia.
Work with your doctor to keep your weight in a healthy range for your height. A body mass index (BMI) between 18.5 and 24.9 is considered normal.