Our memories make us who we are. And losing them is a fear for all of us as we age.
That’s why countless hours and dollars have been spent in a desperate race to cure and prevent Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
And while we still have no cure, we’ve learned a lot about the condition and one of its key markers, beta-amyloid.
This is a protein that binds to nerve cells and erodes the synapses in the brain. These synapses are essential to processing thoughts and storing our precious memories.
So keeping them free of protein debris is crucial to warding off cognitive decline.
And thanks to some exciting new research, we now know that it’s possible to prevent beta-amyloid proteins from gunking up the brain… and slow the progression of cognitive decline.
And the good news is it’s delicious.
Feed Your Brain
In no uncertain terms, the research, published in the journal Alzheimer’s and Dementia, found that our cognition and neural health depends on what we eat.
Researchers assessed around 8,000 patients over the course of 10 years and two studies.
The researchers assessed patients’ diet at the start of the studies using a questionnaire. Then the first study tested patients’ cognitive function at five years, while the second study tested it at baseline and then two, four and 10 years later.
Those who relied heavily on lean protein and lots of fruits and vegetables – hallmarks of the Mediterranean diet – had substantially less beta-amyloid deposits in their brain than those who relied on a typical Western-style diet.
Additionally, folks who relied on lots of processed foods and high sugar intake also had less brain activity… an early sign of dementia.
But eating a Mediterranean diet was shown to ward off the onset of dementia by years.
And following this diet couldn’t be simpler:
- Eat lots of leafy greens.
- Enjoy a glass of wine with dinner.
- Eat lots of wild-caught salmon, which has additional circulation-boosting benefits (I know I’m a broken record about this stuff, but it’s so good for us). Try to get some in at least once a week.
- Enjoy legumes like kidney beans, chickpeas and lima beans every other day.
- Eat a couple of servings of berries a week. Especially blueberries, which are high in antioxidants and reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s in their own right.
- Instead of margarine, use extra-virgin olive oil or butter.
- Limit (but there’s no need to exclude) red meat and full-fat cheese.
- Avoid processed white flour and sweets as much as possible.
- Snack on almonds or walnuts.
It’s long been known that the Mediterranean diet can help prevent heart disease and stroke, as well as protect against Type 2 diabetes…
And now we know that eating the right foods can play a major role in fending off cognitive decline. What a delicious way to protect our memories and our health.
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