Once Alzheimer’s disease or dementia sets in, there’s no turning back.
Cherished memories quickly fade. Processing simple thoughts becomes a burden.
And eventually simple tasks like getting dressed in the morning become impossible.
Alzheimer’s is also the third-highest cause of death among older adults in the U.S., right behind heart disease and cancer.
Even though this deadly disease has been studied for more than a century, there’s a lot we don’t know about how it attacks the brain and does so much damage so quickly.
But a new study out of Tufts University just uncovered a simple way to be proactive and help reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
No major lifestyle changes or aggressive dietary limitations are needed.
It just comes down to eating the right foods. More specifically, foods packed with flavonoids.
Cheap and Delicious
Flavonoids are a natural substance found in many of the plants we eat… and not getting enough of them was shown to quadruple the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.
The study, which took place over a 20-year period, proves it’s possible to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s by fourfold just by eating a few healthy and delicious foods.
And these aren’t high-end, fancy fruits and vegetables you’ll pay an arm and a leg for. They’re simple foods you probably already have in your crisper drawer.
The study specifically looked at three kinds of flavonoids and the role they play:
- Anthocyanins and flavonoid polymers, which are found in foods like blueberries, strawberries and red wine
- Flavonols, which can be found in apples, pears and tea.
The researchers found that these were the key to warding off Alzheimer’s disease.
And you don’t even need to be following the doctor’s recommendation of eating an apple a day to get the positive effects.
The study broke down the participants into two major categories: high intake and low intake of these foods.
Low intake, which was associated with increased risk of Alzheimer’s, meant that folks were eating less than two apples per month, no berries and no tea.
The high-intake group, which had a significantly decreased likelihood of Alzheimer’s, was averaging about a cup of tea per day and around 7 cups of berries and eight apples per month.
That’s all it took.
The researchers also pointed out that it’s never too late to start. Those who saw the most benefit were folks who suddenly increased the amount of flavonoid-rich food they ate.
A handful of berries every other day, a cup of tea on weekdays, and an apple on weekends is more than enough to boost flavonoid levels into the high-intake category and significantly reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s.
We’re still a long way from being able to reverse the damage this disease does. But now we know getting out in front of it and keeping it from destroying our memories and independence couldn’t be easier… or more delicious.
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