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Alzheimer’s: How Your Diet Plays a Role

Monday, 08 Nov 2010 04:12 PM

A healthy diet to prevent Alzheimer’s is one that reduces the risk of heart disease and diabetes, increases blood flow to the brain, and is low in fat and cholesterol. Researchers have found a link between cholesterol and Alzheimer’s disease. A brain healthy diet is beneficial when it is combined with physical activity and mental activity, and good social interaction.

Certain foods protect brain cells and reduce the risk of heart disease:

Dark-skinned fruits and veggies: These have naturally occurring antioxidants. The veggies include onion, corn, kale, spinach, sprouts, broccoli, alfalfa sprouts, beets, red bell pepper, Brussels sprouts, and eggplant. The fruits include oranges, red grapes, cherries, prunes, raisins, plums, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, and raspberries.

Cruciferous vegetables have immense overall health benefits. They are members of the cabbage family, and they get their name from their four-petaled flowers, which look like a crucifer or cross. They include broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, arugula, bok choy, collards, kale, mustard greens, rutabaga, turnip greens, and watercress.

Fish: Fish containing omega-3 fatty acids — halibut, salmon, trout, tuna, and mackerel are good sources of vitamin E.

Nuts: walnuts, almonds, and pecans are good sources of vitamin E.

Reduce foods high in fat and cholesterol: Saturated fat is what clogs the arteries and is linked to Alzheimer’s disease. An Alzheimer’s diet should be free of saturated fat. HDL or good cholesterol helps prevent brain cell damage.

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