Eat These Foods To Stop Your Brain From Aging
Dementia and Alzheimer’s is a silent epidemic that is sweeping across America and taking its toll on our aging population. Currently, the prediction is that by 2050, the number of cases will quite likely triple. This is a sign that there is something that Americans are either doing or not doing that is directly causing these numbers to go up. If there is a single root cause of these degenerative brain diseases, it has yet to be pinpointed. With the numbers reaching a record high in a few years, it is clear that we need to take this epidemic seriously and start doing a lot more research.
However, according to many existing studies, there is increasing proof that you can protect yourself from being at risk for dementia and Alzheimer’s by simply changing one thing in your lifestyle. What is it?
What you eat.
Over and over again, certain foods keep coming up with protective qualities for your brain. They are not special nor particularly expensive foods, most of them can easily become everyday staples in your life if they’re not already.
Here are the foods that are consistently on the list: Beans, nuts and seeds, berries, leafy green vegetables, fatty fish, whole grains and certain heart healthy oils such as olive oil.
Interestingly, these foods make up most of the components a popular diet – the Mediterranean diet, which emphasizes less red meat and little to no processed foods. In addition, each of these foods appear to have qualities that are either good fuel for the brain, or protection for the brain. Other sources who have culled the evidence say that there is a link between heart health and cognitive decline, so it makes sense that if you’re eating foods that are good for your heart, you’re also providing additional benefits for your aging brain.
One interesting study that was published in 2015 in Alzheimer’s & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association, came to a conclusion that because diet seems to play such a huge role in cognitive decline, improving your diet by any amount is better for you than not at all, and could contribute toward a lower risk of these diseases. The study, during which the diets of over 2,000 people were analyzed, showed that those who consistently ate unhealthy foods showed twice as much cognitive decline as those who had a mix of healthy and unhealthy foods in their diets.
However, that same study also showed that those who ate a stringently healthy diet had the least cognitive decline, compared to those who had a mix of healthy and unhealthy foods in their diet.
Other studies have shown that fried foods are not only carcinogenic, they also contribute towards the risk of Alzheimer’s.
So as you can see, what you eat makes a huge difference to your brain health. It sounds so simple, and yet for many it is difficult to change what you eat, especially the older you get.
So if you’re in this position, what can you do to try and change your diet at this point? First, know that it is never too late. You can always take steps to improve your health no matter what age you are. Take small steps to slowly replace the processed foods you eat over time. Be more conscious when you grocery shop, and start out with small changes such as replacing refined carbs that also have high sugar and saturated fat content with heart and brain healthy options such as whole grains and fruit. Take baby steps, and in no time, you will be on your way toward a healthier brain.