World Alzheimer’s Day: What to eat to reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s disease
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World Alzheimer’s Day, which is observed on September 21, is an international campaign aimed at raising awareness and challenging the common stigma that surrounds the disease.
To mark this day, we look at foods that can help fight Alzheimer’s disease.
Alzheimer’s disease is thought to be caused by a combination of genetic, environmental and lifestyle factors including diet and nutrition.
Health conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes and obesity may also contribute to cognitive decline, and are often affected by the foods you eat. Practising good nutrition and eating lots of healthy foods is shown to help reduce your risk of the disease as you become older.
Fish, flax seeds and nuts
According to research published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, omega-3 fatty acids, which are commonly found in some fish, grains and nuts, can potentially help slow the rate of decline in Alzheimer’s.
Because foods that contain omega-3 fatty acids are naturally some of the healthiest foods, they are beneficial to whole-body health even if the scientific community hasn’t confirmed that they can actually slow Alzheimer’s.
However, studies acknowledge further research is necessary. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, “there is not yet sufficient evidence to recommend any omega-3 fatty acids to treat Alzheimer’s disease”.
Greens like kale and spinach
Eating fruits and vegetables such as berries, green leafy vegetables and cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and cauliflower will maximize protective antioxidants and vitamins that work well for your brain.
According to the South African Poultry Association, eggs contain a nutrient called choline, which the brain uses to make acetylcholine.
Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter, one of the brain chemicals that helps the cells to communicate with each other. This chemical is also responsible for memory and mood, as well as muscle control.
For this reason, choline is getting more and more attention as a powerful nutrient in brain health. Not meeting our choline needs is being linked to negative neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s.
As World Alzheimer’s Day is commemorated, the association suggests you serve up some eggs. Whether enjoyed as quick scrambled eggs at breakfast or a hearty frittata for dinner, eggs can be added to the menu any time of the day.