If you’re reading this, you may know of someone with Early Onset Alzheimer’s. Or maybe someone you know has full-blown Alzheimer’s. You may even suspect that you have it yourself. It is a disease that erases our memories and affects our mental capabilities and the ability to care for ourselves.
One of the many things noted by the medical profession and researchers is that some symptoms of Alzheimer’s can be managed and controlled by certain foods in our diet. They believe that some foods and nutrients impact the inflammation in the brain and that eating these foods can curb the inflammation and lead to a cure. Therefore, a decision to eat healthier implies that we can improve our brain health.
The National Institutes of Health states in this article ‘Omega-3 Fatty Acids’, that certain foods can have an impact on slowing down the disease. These foods include things like nuts, fish, berries, green leafy vegetables or anything that contains anti-oxidants. That includes foods that have Omega-3 fatty acids and Fish Oil which have been proven to impact the brain’s inflammation . Let’s discuss why?
Alzheimer’s is defined by the presence of tau tangles and amyloid plaque in the brain. The omega-3 fatty acids seem to effect the amyloid, tau and inflammatory actions in the brains of animals as published in an article in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease. Researchers noted that people who have high omega-3 levels have increased blood flow in certain areas of the brain.
There are many supplements & foods but research looks at the below to be particularly effective. These foods seem to have *more* of an impact on inflammation & is said to improve brain health. Here are some of my favorites, and are very mild and tasty like are Salmon, Whiting, or Swai.
- Fish Oil
- Salmon – I love this fish! You can buy it in any grocery store fresh and bake, broil or fry with your favorite ingredients for lunch or dinner. Salmon also comes in a pack that can be made particularly for breakfast but can be for lunch or dinner also. For the pre-packaged salmon, I add onions, one egg per pack, lightly seasoned (garlic, light pepper), and add a teaspoon of flour.
- Make into paddies by lightly flouring the outside. Or you can bake on a cookie sheet until done (about 20 mins) or fry in light olive oil until brown on each side.
- Whiting – Another one of my favorites. Use your favorite seasonings. Season as per your favorites that add flavors you like. Some people use parsley and lemon as well. Bake in over or fry (if you like that type of thing) in light olive oil. Very yummy!
- Swai – another white fish from China so you will usually get it frozen. Defrost. Mix seasoned bread crumbs with garlic, butter, onions and lemon zest, light oil or butter in one bowl. Place the seasoned bread crumbs on top of the Swai and bake at 350/375 for 30 to 40 minutes. Serve with two types of vegetables. Cauliflower (seasoned with garlic, scallions, pepper) and steamed green beans are my favorites, but any vegetables can be used.
- Simply put Omega–3 fish oil contains both docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). Omega–3 fatty acids are essential nutrients that are important in preventing and managing heart disease.
As I started to investigate various other foods that would help with Early Onset Alzheimer’s, I continued to come across berries. Blue berries are known to be good for brain health. Berries are high in antioxidants and are said to contain ingredients that will improve your brain health by slowing down the inflammation. You can see additional information with details right here..
I started making morning shakes with blue berries , one (1) medium banana, and pineapple juice (4 to 6 ounces), add ice. Blend to your favorite consistency. Quick and easy for a filling morning meal or to add as a beverage to your lunch.
3. Spinach or Green Vegetables
Some information on the Boston Magazine website discusses the value of leafy vegetables which have a lot of fiber, vitamins and antioxidants, all good for us. It states that a study was completed that showed “…women in their 60’s who ate more leafy vegetables performed better on verbal and memory tests than those who did not regularly include leafy greens in their diets.” It also noted that “New studies suggest that high levels of vitamin C, found in spinach, may help with dementia prevention.” The full article is here
Nuts are said to have vitamins that help the brain as well. The ones that mostly impact Alzheimer’s are pecans, hazelnuts, walnuts, and almonds. You can eat them all day as handy snacks as they are easy to carry. Please make sure you are not allergic to nuts. I found out later in life that I was allergic so if you’ve never eaten nuts, please confirm with your doctor that you are clear to eat them.
I’ve heard many good things about Tumeric helping with inflammation. A UCLA study found that curcumin taken together with vitamin D3 helps reduce the formation of plaque in the brain associated with Alzheimer’s. That’s an awesome thing as many people love turmeric and this may help with brain health. Note: *Curcumin is an ingredient of turmeric.
Many of these foods are based on decreasing inflammation and since Alzheimer’s is thought to inflammation-related, it makes sense to continue testing. You can get most of these ingredients at your local Health Food Store or your grocery store. The goal is to determine the impact that these food items will have on the progression or slowing down of this disease and its symptoms. In the meantime, I continue to follow a diet of healthy foods that help with inflammation.
I hope that you have found this helpful. We all must continue to eat healthy and some of these food types above are readily available for us to try and to enjoy. Rest assured, the communities and doctors are working and providing information on the best brain health foods. I’ll keep you posted on additional foods that can help with this disease.
Note: For additional references see the sites below.