It’s pretty amazing how the food we eat can impact our overall health and mental acuity. This is not just phenomena that impact teens, middle-aged adults. or seniors. It’s for everyone in the world. The term we are what we eat is more accurate than most people might think. Foods prevent dementia and the best choices for seniors might surprise you.
As a matter of fact, everybody regardless of age should consider altering their diet to include these so-called, brain foods.
Look no further than the Blue Zones of the world where seniors enjoy the quality of life into their nineties and beyond. Much of the credit is given to the Mediterranean style diet they all seem to share.
An optimum diet along with regular exercise does wonders for overall health and longevity. This includes reducing the onset of dementia.
There’s little doubt that Alzheimer’s is the most common strain of dementia is those 65 and older. Almost five and a half million people in the USA suffer from dementia and that number is continually growing as the baby boomers reach their senior years.
The early signs of dementia are normally some memory loss and asking the same question over and over again. Eventually one loses control over their behavior and emotions as their lives begin to spiral out of control.
You might find this book on Power Food For the Brain very helpful.
Just because one is old does not mean they will get dementia. This is not an inevitable effect of aging. We are actually talking about brain diseases that spawn a multitude of conditions.
Many studies have shown that dietary changes can go a long way to reducing the chances of being struck down by dementia.
This video talks about Maintaining Brain Health.
Look at it this way. It seems that dementia is related to lengthy chronic brain inflammation. It follows then that foods that are high in anti-inflammatory effects can very well stall the impact of cognitive decline.
This is why they are called brain foods and here’s a look at some of them. In pretty well every case, these foods are readily available.
I thought I would mention this first, because who doesn’t like chocolate? However, this is not the creamy, fat and sugar-filled variety of chocolate, so don’t let your imagination run wild as you envision downing a box of Black Magic chocolates every day.
The chocolate in question is very low in sugar and high in cocoa. As a matter of fact, what you want to look for is the chocolate that is at least 70% cocoa. Remember to avoid chocolates that contain fat and sugar additives that all but destroy the beneficial properties of chocolate.
Although this might make dark chocolate a little less pleasing to the palate, you are certainly better off without the additives.
Here’s another all-time favorite! How can you go wrong with red wine? Just remember that it’s not a bottle or two a day that you need to keep your brain functioning on all cylinders.
It also pays to remember the Mediterranean Diet I just mentioned that’s a favorite of those living in the Blue Zones of the world. The main component of this diet is to have a glass or two of red wine with dinner.
It was a Norwegian study that gave credit to modest amounts of red wine for having a protective effect on the cognitive functions of the brain. The result is a decreased risk of contracting Alzheimer’s.
There is however a caveat. Drinking more is not better. Although a glass or two of red wine per day can help defend against dementia, drinking too much can actually cause dementia.
The idea is not to down a bottle or two every day, but a glass or two. Drinking too much can not only cause dementia but other diseases as well, which include liver cancer and heart disease.
Some fish are high in Omega-three and fish is also a major component of the diet enjoyed by people living in the Blue Zones of the world. As a matter of fact, fish is a major player in the highly regarded Mediterranean Diet no matter where it happens to be enjoyed.
Although canned and frozen salmon also contain Omega-3, wild salmon appears to be the best option. It should also be noted that anchovies and sardines are also very high in Omega-3.
There are some excellent Omega-3 wild salmon fish oils available on Amazon.
A study by Tufts University in Boston determined that those people who included three weekly servings of fish in their diet had a 50% less chance of suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease.
Salmon is also very high in Vitamin B12 and Vitamin D. These can both help in preventing cognitive disorders.
This excerpt is from Dr. Michael T. Murray ND(Naturopathic Medicine Specialist)
Fish, particularly cold-water fish such as salmon, have been shown to be very beneficial for protecting against heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease and many forms of cancer. In terms of health benefits, salmon is one of the most highly valued fish because of its exceptionally high content of omega-3 fatty acids. Wild Alaskan salmon also tends to be one of the cleanest sources of fish, as it typically contains the lowest levels of heavy metals and pesticide residues.
CHERRIES AND BERRIES
Blueberries, cherries, raspberries, and strawberries are all loaded with anti-oxidants. They are also very high in anti-inflammatory phytochemicals that are excellent for reducing brain inflammation and brain oxidative stress. Both of these can result in dementia or Alzheimer’s if at high levels for too long.
Cherries are especially high in anti-inflammatory properties. Their main anti-inflammatory compound called anthocyanins. This is the same compound that gives cherries their bright red color.
Cherries don’t have the same side effects as anti-inflammatory drugs(NSAIDs), which can cause stomach bleeding and heart issues among seniors.
There is something to be aware of when it comes to berries. Actually, this seems to pertain mostly to strawberries. Up to 20 different pesticides can be used in growing strawberries.
Studies have also shown that chronic exposure to pesticides in food can also lead to dementia. The best option is to choose berries that are organically grown. They are more expensive, but definitely the best choice if possible.
Of course, like all foods listed here, you do not have to eat them every day, but adding berries or cherries to your diet can also help in the fight against Alzheimer’s and dementia.
If you are going to eat apples, be sure to wash them well and eat the skin. The substance Quercetin is found in copious amounts in the skin of the apple.
According to a study conducted by Cornell University, it was discovered that Quercetin will protect the brain from damage to the brain caused by Alzheimer’s.
The big advantage of apples is that they are available year-round and are not overly expensive.
However, like many of the fruits and vegetables are grown today, it’s important to be aware of the contamination of pesticides.
The other option once again is to buy organically, but it can be much more expensive in most cases. Alternatively, if fruits and vegetables are washed properly, almost all of the pesticides can be removed.
Have a look at this article on Simple Tricks to Remove Pesticides From Fruits and Vegetables.
As with so many aspects of health and well-being, what we choose to put in our bodies in the way of sustenance will go a long way toward determining the state of our physical and mental health.
Food is what powers us.
It provides us with the fuel to make it through everyday life. It energizes brain cells, builds muscle, bones, tendons, and ligaments. Food choices can affect the performance of elite athletes as well as regular people no matter what their age, gender, or station in life.
What we choose to put in our bodies can have a huge impact on how our lives unfold. It can help determine not just how long we live, but how well we live.
People around the world are living longer because of the advancements of medical science, but what’s the point of living longer if you don’t have the quality of life to enjoy it?
Making the best food choices possible will fight off not only dementia but a host of other diseases as well such as type two diabetes, obesity, heart disease, and cancer. The list goes on and on.
As we age we should all be aware that foods prevent dementia and the best choices for seniors and for people of all ages can be found at your local supermarket. You just have to know what to look for.
Would you like to share your thoughts on this topic? Feel free to leave a comment at the bottom of this page.