Proper Diet Increases Cognitive Performance and Protects Against Alzheimer’s

by David Modica

fruitbowlEveryone experiences moments when they suddenly draw a blank, unable to recall a fact or a detail thought of just moments before. It’s no myth that the frequency of situations like this can increase over time, as brain function has been proven to decline with age.

In the last five years, research has uncovered incontestable evidence that what we eat has a large effect on our general neurological health. A well-balanced diet with emphasis on certain nutrients can protect the brain from neurodegenerative diseases often associated with older age, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, Huntington’s disease and dementia, in addition to improving current cognitive function.

“There are a number of components that influence the health of our brain, including our daily diet,” said Syeda Farid, a registered dietitian at Swedish Covenant Hospital and Galter LifeCenter. “Recent research has examined the way specific nutrients affect the systems of molecules and cellular processes crucial for proper cognitive function. We now have scientific evidence about what can help or hurt us in this regard.”

Three Tips for a Healthier Mind

  • Load up on antioxidants. Both vitamin C and E have been proven to significantly lower the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Avoid obesity. Obesity has been linked to the development of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease and general brain function degeneration.

Eat more blueberries and walnuts. Both have been proven to slow down degeneration due to aging. Half of a cup of blueberries or 1-1.5 ounces of walnuts is recommended to benefit from their effects.
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