Many of you know that our team participated last month in the 2015 Boca Raton Walk to End Alzheimer’s, which raised over $247,000 in total for research and treatment of this tragic disease.
By the way, Alzheimer’s is the disease that people over age 25 say they worry about most—more than cancer, stroke, heart disease, diabetes and arthritis combined.
So if you’re concerned about Alzheimer’s and want to keep your brain fit and sharp, you’ll want to know about the super foods that researchers say can enhance memory, build new brain cells, and help ward off Alzheimer’s.
In the latest AARP Bulletin, health and science writer Amy Paturel reports that following a Mediterranean or DASH (anti-hypertension) diet, or a combination of the two (called the MIND diet), can lower your Alzheimer’s risk by as much as 53 percent.
These brain-healthy diets, says Paturel, emphasize fish, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, beans and a daily glass of wine, along with brain-boosting produce like berries and leafy greens.
“The common denominator in all (these) diets is a plant-based eating pattern that is low in saturated and trans fats and high in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats,” says Martha Clare Morris, professor of nutritional epidemiology at Rush University in Chicago, interviewed by Paturel.
“Follow the Mediterranean or the MIND diets and your mind will be sharper in six months — and less susceptible to Alzheimer’s disease decades later,” reported Majid Fotuhi, M.D., in his interview with Paturel. Fotuhi is medical director of the NeuroGrow Brain Fitness Center and is on staff at Johns Hopkins Medicine in Baltimore.
Here’s Paturel’s summary of some of the top brain superfoods:
1. Olive oil, green tea and leafy greens (broccoli, spinach and kale)
Antioxidant superfoods that help fight inflammation.
2. Beets, tomatoes and avocados
Darkly-hued foods to help ensure that your brain receives the blood it needs to stay sharp.
3. Nuts (especially walnuts), curcumin and pomegranates
They work deep in the brain to fight amyloid plaques.
4. Fish, blueberries, grapes, coffee and dark chocolate
Nutrient powerhouses that increase the level of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a protein that supports the growth of new neurons, called “Miracle-Gro for the brain” by Dr. Fotuhi.