If you or your loved ones have been experiencing lapses in memory or in your ability to think and recall information, you should immediately get a brain test done to find out if everything is alright. While on the surface, dementia may just be about memory loss, it does a lot more harm to the body than just that.
With the advancement in technology and science-based research, numerous researches and studies have been conducted on dementia and other neurodegenerative conditions. Countless efforts have been made to discover treatments and solutions for these conditions. During this process, researchers found that what you eat and consume can have a great impact on your mental health and there are several natural foods that can significantly enhance and boost your brain function.
Mentioned ahead is a list of a few of such organic foods that play the biggest role in slowing down dementia progression.
Vegetables are often referred to as ‘super foods’ that are loaded with countless nutrients and minerals essential for a healthy living. They do not only promote good physical health but also ensure excellent mental health. Leafy greens, in particular, have been shown to play a vital role in preventing mental conditions like dementia and in slowing down their progression.
Vegetables like kale, spinach, broccoli, and collards are loaded with antioxidants, vitamins and numerous other healing nutrients. These are also high in a component called folate which helps improve cognition and prevents the deterioration of several functions of the brain.
Researchers have found that at least two servings of vegetables every week are a great brain booster and can significantly lower the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s.
Berries like blueberries and raspberries are great sources of fiber which is a very important and beneficial for a healthy digestive system. They are also rich in antioxidants called anthocyanins that have been found to be extremely effective in preventing dementia and Alzheimer’s and keeping your memory sharp as you grow older.
Blueberries, in particular, are often termed as a ‘superfruit’ due to their health-boosting properties. They are also categorized as the most powerful fruit for the protection of the brain because the antioxidants present in blueberries shield the brain from extensive damage caused by free radicals.
Moreover, Researchers at the University of Manchester found that the consumption of purple colored fruit like blueberries can help ward off dementia and Alzheimer’s and numerous other similar conditions that absorb heavy metals.
Peanuts, walnuts and cashew nuts aren’t just a delicious evening snack to munch on but they are also excellent for promoting good mental health and boosting brain function. They contain magnesium, omega-3s, omega-6s, vitamin E, and folate which can prevent this and similar mental health conditions, and protect the brain against memory loss.
Walnuts are typically considered the top nut for brain health. They have a high concentration of DHA, a type of omega-3 which has been shown to improve cognitive performance in adults and also prevent age-related cognitive decline. Almonds and hazelnuts, on the other hand, are great sources of vitamin E which help boost memory, especially in people with dementia. Similarly, peanuts also offer great brain benefits and have shown to reduce the risk of cognitive decline associated with dementia and may even prevent it from progressing.
Also referred to as the ‘brain food’, the consumption of fish has increasingly been linked with great mental and brain health. It is said that eating fish, which is one of the biggest sources of omega-3, is excellent for boosting brain function and preventing the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s. This is because omega-3 is one component that is important for the brain throughout your life from early cognitive development to age-related memory functions.
Several studies and researches show that eating fish and other fresh seafood prolongs mental health by boosting blood flow to the brain. These findings also suggest that oily fish like sardines and salmon, in particular, can help combat conditions like dementia and Alzheimer’s. They also play a crucial role in keeping the brain of dementia patients healthier for longer, thus maintaining their quality of life.
Spices are like a more natural version of chemical potions and pills given to us by nature. According to recent research, spices you add in your food may contain ingredients that can help improve brain function and mental sharpness. Some common spices for brain health include cinnamon, sage, turmeric and cumin which make their way through brain plaque and reduce any inflammation that may severely affect brain function.
These and numerous other spices have also been found to help in the fight against fatal neurological disorders like dementia, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease, etc. One of the active components in spices called nutraceuticals offer countless health benefits by targeting inflammatory pathways in the brain and body and preventing neurodegenerative diseases like dementia from progressing or worsening. A study also shows that an ingredient called turmerone present in turmeric increases the ability of the brain to heal itself.
More commonly used as a hair treatment for long and shiny hair, recent research has shown increasing evidence that using coconut oil instead of vegetable oils can protect your brain from dementia and other degenerative diseases. There is also substantial anecdotal evidence which claims that coconut oil has the potential to not just halt but even reverse the progression of mental health conditions like dementia and Alzheimer’s.
Coconut oil is rich in antioxidants that protect the brain from damage imposed by free radicals. It is also a great source of vitamin E which is required by our brain in great amounts to function properly and to prevent cognitive functioning from deteriorating or slowing down.
Caregivers should make it a point to include these nutritious foods in the daily diet of their patients. Positive changes may not be apparent immediately but the powerful ingredients and components present in these foods will gradually show wonders in improving their mental and physical health.
Many people often resort to taking medication for dementia and other similar conditions perhaps due to the instant relief provided by medicines. However, it is best to focus on adopting a healthier lifestyle with healthy eating habits because a healthy diet is one of the key factors for slowing down and even preventing it from occurring in the first place.