Maintaining an active lifestyle and a natural and balanced diet are two measures that have consistently proven to be effective in staving off degenerative brain diseases. If you have a family history of Alzheimer’s, it is important to start doing everything that you can to promote long-term brain health. Fortunately, efforts to build a healthy diet can be both easy and delicious. They will also benefit you in other life areas such as by moderating your body weight, decreasing your likelihood of diabetes and hypertension and by boosting your energy and confidence. The best foods for avoiding dementia are options that limit free radical damage while nourishing the brain. Thus, your diet should be built around a colorful selection of fresh or lightly steamed produce, healthy fats and high-fiber that are rich in essential vitamins and minerals. Following are some of the top foods to include in your diet along with a few that you should avoid.
1. Go For Foods That Are High In Omega-3 Fats
Omega-3 fats build and nourish the brain. This is why fat-free and certain low-fat diets can be so detrimental to overall human health. Thus, rather than cutting all fats for weight loss, you simply need to be more cognizant of where your fats are coming from. As opposed to eating the trans fats that are found in processed and refined foods or the saturated fats that are present in full-fat dairy products, red meats and fried food, focus on getting regular servings of fatty fish. Try to eat salmon, tuna, mackerel, trout or sardines at least twice a week and look for options that are wild-caught rather than farm raised. Also, think about switching out butter for coconut oil in many of your recipes. Coconut oil is better for your heart and contains a number of brain-enriching nutrients that will help keep age-related issues like dementia at bay. More importantly, it is filled with fats that provide many of the same benefits that omega-3 fats supply.
2. Build A Rainbow On Your Plate With Fruits And Vegetables
Your diet should include a colorful array of fruits and vegetables. Eat plenty of leafy, dark greens like collard greens, mustard greens and kale, which contain lots of magnesium and many other essential vitamins and minerals. Each fruit and vegetable has its own unique array of antioxidants and phytonutrients. Certain antioxidants and phytonutrients are only available in select produce colors. Thus, the greater the variety of fruit and vegetables in your diet, the more nutrients you will invariably get. Best of all, a high-fiber diet will also increase digestive regularity and health.
3. Eat Your Beans
Beans are another important staple to add to your diet when working to stave off dementia. Legumes are rich in magnesium and B-complex vitamins that contain choline. Choline helps increase the amount of acetylcholine that is present in the body which is an essential neurotransmitter for optimal brain health and functioning.
4. Limit Inflammation With Cherries And Berries
When you get ready to have a healthy snack, treat yourself to a colorful bowl of cherries and berries. This will give your body a boost of anthocyanin, which helps stop damage from free radicals. Cherries and berries are also rich in Vitamins C and E and can play an important role in limiting inflammation throughout the body.
In addition to maintaining a healthy diet, it is also important to regularly engage in physical activities and to routinely challenge yourself with new learning and new ideas. Limiting alcohol consumption and entering into a smoking cessation program are other things that you can due to reduce your likelihood of degenerative, age-related illnesses. Although genetics play a major role in the development of dementia, how you eat and how you live continue to be vital factors as well.