Foods that may prevent dementia
Aug 1, 2012, 8:26 a.m.
The fear of Alzheimer's disease and dementia plagues many people sailing into their senior years. Whether or not you have a family history of it doesn't seem to do much to assuage fears, either. The fact that there is very little known about the causes of dementia and how to prevent dementia makes things even worse. But recent studies have brought a ray of light into the lives of those fearing the worst for their senior years -- and as it turns out, you might just be able to eat yourself into good brain health as you age.
Doctors have been busy studying not only the brains but also the eating habits of octogenarians with good cognitive abilities. What they've learned might just cause you to change your diet. According to studies, folks in their 80s who performed the best on brain tests proved to have much higher levels of Vitamins B, C, D, and E in their blood. Many also had higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids coursing through their veins. But before you go stocking up your medicine cabinet with various vitamin bottles, there's something else you should know: eating foods rich in these vitamins is far more effective at getting them into your system. That said, we've come up with a list of the top 5 foods you should be eating more of.
- Fish -- Long known to be a healthy alternative to red meat, fish is rich in omega-3 fatty acids. This is considered to be a healthy fat that's also great for your heart as well as for reducing inflammation that can occur throughout the body.
- Citrus Fruits -- No tastier way exists to get your daily dose of Vitamin C than through citrus fruits like oranges, tangerines, lemons and limes. But that's not the only place where Vitamin C resides: strawberries, cantaloupes, and leafy greens are also rich in it and can go a long way to keeping your noodle sharp as you age.
- Almonds -- These are great for a natural source of the all-important Vitamin E, but you don't have to limit yourself to almonds to get the benefits. You can also feast on avocado and prepare guiltless meals using vegetable oils, provided they're the healthy kind like canola and olive oils. The best way to take in Vitamin E is through food, as taking it through vitamin supplements has been linked with a handful of health issues.
- Beans -- Not only do beans give you lots of fiber and protein, but they're also rich in the various elements that make up the Vitamin B family. Beans provide a good source of folic acids, which are a good thing for the health of your overall nervous system.
- Coffee -- Finally, you've been given the green light to enjoy your favorite morning (or afternoon, or evening) beverage. What's even better, it's only caffeinated coffee that's said to reduce the body's levels of proteins that can form plaque buildup, which is thought to be one of the primary causes of dementia .
Now that you have an edible primer for how to prevent dementia , go forth and begin devouring. But just remember, it's also all about staying away from unhealthy junk like trans fats and eating in moderation. Bon apetit!
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