Fight Inflammation and Alzheimer's Through Diet

Scientists and physicians know that inflammation is one of the main pathological grounds for Alzheimer’s disease, a neurodegenerative disease that impairs memory. Inflammation also lends to obesity, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes; which, in turn, are risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease.

Dietary choices can alter the inflammatory processes. For the brain, it’s vital to consume healthy fats regularly. Nuts, avocados, and olive oil will benefit your brain health and functioning. Fatty fish, like salmon, are also good sources of healthy fats. Go a step further by incorporating fat soluble vitamins (A, D, E and K).

Other anti-inflammatory foods to consider incorporating in your diet are:

  • Turmeric – the curcumin in turmeric may remove plaques from the brain
  • Ginger – ginger has anti-inflammatory properties
  • Berries and cherries – these fruits have components that protect the brain from damage from free radicals
  • Beans and legumes – the folate, iron, magnesium and potassium can assist proper neuron firing
  • Omega 3s – the fatty acids in fish, flaxseeds and olive oil show a 26% less risk of brain lesions compared to people who do not regularly consume them
  • Almonds, cashews, walnuts – these nuts contain omega 3s and omega 6s, vitamin E, folate, B6 and magnesium which can all help your brain.

Inflammation-causing foods to avoid:

  • Sugar and artificial sweeteners
  • Fried foods
  • Refined flour (avoid white breads at all costs, as they typically contain solely empty calories)
  • Dairy – Full-fat dairy, especially, can disrupt our gut and decrease good bacteria, which are important in reducing inflammation. An exception to avoiding dairy is moderate intake of yogurt can actually benefit gut health.
  • Grain-fed meats and processed meats

Further, exercise and continuous brain stimulation will also benefit brain health. So be sure to keep healthy fats and a crossword puzzle in your daily routine!

References: AARP, Eat This, MindBodyGreen