These health problems all have an impact on brain function. They increase the risk of Alzheimer’s and other brain disorders such as vascular dementia, Parkinson’s and Parkinson’s.
A healthy diet is known to protect against diseases such as type 2 diabetes and obesity. Evidence shows that what is good for your body is also generally good for your brain.
Read more: People living in rural areas may be at lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease
As we age, our metabolism becomes less effective and less able to eliminate compounds produced by what is called “oxidative stresses.”
Free radicals, which are side products of the body’s chemical reactions, can cause damage to other chemicals.
Antioxidants or proteins specific to our bodies are used as protective mechanisms in order to neutralize free radicals. As we age, our systems become less effective. Oxidative stress occurs when your body is unable to offset free radical damage.
As oxidative stress builds up, toxic compounds slowly damage the brain. This eventually leads to Alzheimer’s symptoms.
Read more: What causes Alzheimer’s disease? What we know, don’t know and suspect
To reduce your risk, you need to reduce oxidative stress and the long-term inflammation it can cause.
It is important to increase physical activity. Here, we focus on ANTIoxidants, our main source in the diet.
You can improve your brain health by including a variety of foods in your diet. Fresh fruits, seafood, and green leafy vegetables are all good choices. Also, nuts and healthy oils.
Fish is an excellent source of complete proteins. Oily fish is particularly rich in omega-3 fats.
Omega-3 fatty acid has been shown to protect against oxidative stresses. They are also lacking in Alzheimer’s patients’ brains.
They improve gut microbiota function.
Omega-3 fatty acids found in oily fish like salmon can improve brain health. Shutterstock.com
Low intakes of omega-3 fatty acids are linked to a faster decline in cognitive function and preclinical Alzheimer’s disease. (Changes in the brain can be observed several years prior to the onset of symptoms, such as memory loss).
The Western diet is generally deficient in omega-3 fatty acids, which have been associated with reduced brain health and function.
Fish is also a good source of vitamin D. A lack of vitamin has been associated with Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and vascular degeneration (a form of dementia that occurs when the blood supply to your brain is reduced as a result of a series of small strokes).
The antioxidants in berries are particularly high, especially vitamin C (strawberries), anthocyanins, and resveratrol.
Anthocyanins were found to be associated with lower signs of oxidative damage and inflammation, specifically linked to neuron (brain cell) damage. In human studies, improvements were seen in brain function and blood flow. There was also a reduction in brain inflammation.
Read more: Six things you can do to reduce your risk of dementia
Red and purple sweet potato
The Okinawan diet in Japan is one of those traditional diets that has been linked to longevity. Purple sweet potatoes, rich in antioxidants and anthocyanins, are a staple starch of the Okinawan diet.
Anthocyanins in this potato have been shown to protect against the effects of obesity on blood sugar regulation and cognitive function and reduce inflammation of the brain.
Green Vegetables and Herbs
Researchers have also studied the traditional Mediterranean Diet to determine its link with longevity and a lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
Green vegetables and herbs dominate this diet. These vegetables are a rich source of antioxidants, including vitamins A and C, folate, and polyphenols like apigenin. They also contain xanthophylls, which is a carotenoid pigment. Carrots contain a carotenoid, which is an orange-red pigment.
Green vegetables and herbs contain a variety of antioxidants. Shutterstock.com
It is believed that the antioxidants and anti-inflammatory chemicals found in vegetables can reduce the development of Alzheimer’s disease by preventing the accumulation of toxic proteins within brain cells.
Parsley contains apigenin, which is a powerful antioxidant. It easily crosses the blood-brain barrier (unlike most drugs), reduces inflammation and oxidative stress, and aids in the recovery of brain tissue following injury.
Read more: What is the Mediterranean diet, and why is it good for you?
Beetroot contains antioxidants such as folate, polyphenols, and copper. Beetroot, in particular, is high in betalain, which has antiinflammatory and oxidative stress-reducing properties.
Beetroot juice can boost nitric oxide levels in the body due to its nitrates. Drinking beetroot is known to lower blood pressure by lowering nitric oxide levels.
The results of a recent review of clinical trials on older adults showed that beetroot juice, which is rich in nitrates, has a positive effect on our hearts and blood vessels.
Reduce your weight with these foods.
It is equally important to reduce the amount of unhealthy foods in your diet. Some foods contain damaged proteins and fats, which can cause inflammation and oxidative stress.
The consumption of junk foods, such as sweets, soft drinks, refined carbohydrates, and processed meats, has been associated with obesity, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases.
These conditions all have risk factors for cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease. They should be kept at a minimum in order to improve health and reduce risks.