In just shy of two decades, the number of deaths attributed to Alzheimer’s has increased by 89 percent. Right now, people aged 65 or older have a 1 in 10 chance of having Alzheimer’s. It’s expected that in the next 32 years, the number of Alzheimer’s patients will triple.
When you have a family member with Alzheimer’s, there is no guarantee that you’ll get the disease. Research is ongoing, however. Doctors do recommend making changes in hopes of lowering your risk. One of those suggestions is to focus on brain-friendly foods. Here are five foods doctors recommend to help lower the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
Berries contain many antioxidants. In 2012, the Annals of Neurology released a study regarding cognitive health and berries. In this study, some participants ate blueberries and strawberries regularly while others did not. Those who ate them regularly were found to slow cognitive aging by as much as 2.5 years.
Fish Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids help lower inflammation throughout the body. This can help with Alzheimer’s, arthritis, and heart disease. It’s for this reason that doctors recommend eating fatty fish.
Fish that are good sources of fatty acids include herring, mackerel, salmon, sardines, trout, and tuna. Balance how much fish they consume due to mercury levels. Most doctors recommend eating fish once a week.
Green, Leafy Vegetables
Kale, spinach, and Swiss chard are all believed to help. A 2017 study from Rush University found that participants who ate more than one serving of leafy green vegetables each day slowed their cognitive aging. It did depend on the greens that were consumed. Collards, kale, mustard greens, spinach, and turnip greens seemed to be some of the better options.
The fiber, B vitamins, folic acid, and zinc are some of the reasons beans and legumes are recommended. Lentils are an affordable and very versatile option. Other beans and legumes to keep on hand are black beans, chickpeas, and many of the dried beans like cranberry, navy, or pinto.
Beef and pork are fattier meats that doctors recommend limiting to every now and then. If you are looking for a brain-healthy source of protein, chicken and turkey breast are ideal. It should be sauteed or broiled in with little to no oil. If you must use oil, olive oil is best.
In addition to dietary changes, you should cut stress and make sure you have time to exercise at least 30 minutes each day. When you’re a family caregiver, it can be hard to find that time. Hire an elder care professional to help. Each day or even once a week, a caregiver can come to your mom and dad’s home and help them while you run errands, attend a fitness class, or go shopping for healthier food options. Learn more by calling an elder care agency now.