Eating Smart: Top Foods That Can Help Delay Dementia
Dementia is an overall term that, according to the Alzheimer’s Association, “describes a group of symptoms associated with a decline in memory or other thinking skills severe enough to reduce a person’s ability to perform everyday activities. Alzheimer’s disease accounts for 60 to 80 percent of cases.” Dementia is a worldwide syndrome affecting over 50 million people to date, with some 10 million new cases each year.
Although there is no known cure, there are simple steps everyone can take to help avoid and slow memory loss. One of the simplest steps begins right in your grocery store with common, everyday foods that have been shown to delay the onset of dementia. Armed with that, let’s plan your next shopping trip together.
The foods that help delay dementia
The Produce Section
First stop, fruits and veggies. Countless studies have proven the benefits of fresh fruits and vegetables on mental health. Here are some of the top ones to place on your list:
Berries & Cherries – These tiny treats are loaded with flavonoids and anthocyanins that have anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that help repair damage to the brain.
Spinach, Kale & Lettuce – Rich in Vitamin K, these salad greens help regulate calcium in the brain, which has been shown to protect against damage from Alzheimer’s.
Broccoli, Cabbage, Brussel Sprouts – Colorful cruciferous veggies like these boast Vitamin K, carotenoids and folate, which have been linked to slowing cognitive decline.
Next—The Seafood Department
Cold water fish, including salmon, tuna, mackerel, and halibut all pack a huge omega-3 punch, which the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease reported boosts your brain’s blood flow to the area associated with memory and learning.
Quick Stop in The Candy Aisle
Yes! That’s right, we’re talking chocolate. Many studies have found that chocolate – especially dark chocolate – can help boost brain function and mood. So, a small candy bar a day may not be such a bad idea after all.
Head to The Heavenly Bakery
No, we’re not talking about processed flour (sorry…no cakes), but delicious high-fiber, whole-grain foods like wheat bread, brown rice, oats and quinoa. According to the MIND Diet, three servings of these fiber-rich, whole grains per day help prevent cognitive decline.
Last Stop—The Snack Aisle
Go ahead and walk on by the fried potato chips and cheese puffs, but if you move a little further down the snack aisle, you’ll come across a plethora of nut mixes. Consuming omaga-3-rich nuts, such as walnuts, almonds, and pistachios, not only helps protect the brain, but actually strengthens brainwave frequencies that are associated with memory.
For more information and for help with many common age-related memory loss questions, visit the Beacon Hill at Eastgate’s website. You can also call them directly at 616-245-9179.
By Kimi Mattig-Louria Contributor
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