If you’ve had a loved one who has developed Alzheimer’s, you know how emotionally devastating it can be to the patient and the people around him. If this loved one was your mother or father, then it is likely that you have wondered whether this disease is present in your family or not.
Having a parent with Alzheimer’s doesn’t guarantee you’ll have one too, because it has more to do with specific genetic mutations that are passed down. But it’s perfectly normal for people who have had parents who have developed Alzheimer’s to want to do whatever they can to reduce their chances of getting the disease.
One of the most common ways to take care of your brain as you get older is through the food you eat. We spoke to Lisa Young, PhD, RDN, author of Finally Complete, Finally Subtleand a member of our board of medical experts, on the type of diet you may want to focus on if Alzheimer’s is present in your family.
“When it comes to diet and Alzheimer’s, certain foods can support memory function and brain health, so choose a diet that’s rich in green leafy vegetables, colorful fruit and whole grains, and one that’s low in red meat and ultra foods. -worked. “
While this balanced diet is essential, Young says leafy vegetables (spinach, kale, microgreens, romaine lettuce, etc.) they are particularly important for brain health. She even calls them brain candy.
“These vegetables are rich in antioxidants, vitamins A and C, and folate, which promote brain health,” says Young.
As mentioned by Young, leafy greens are packed with important vitamins, one of which is folate. Folate is a natural B vitamin that our bodies need for healthy cell function, in addition to forming red blood cells and DNA.
A review from Proceedings of the Nutrition Society states that folate and B vitamins are essential for brain health in every age group, from infants to the elderly. Vitamin B is particularly useful for improving brain health during the aging process.
“Folate can positively affect cognitive function,” says Young. “It is important for the proper functioning of the general nervous system, so a lack of this vitamin can contribute to brain aging.”
A study in Neurology 960 adults (with no existing signs of dementia) also found it those who ate at least one serving of leafy vegetables each day had fewer problems with cognitive decline and memory loss compared to those who did not eat a lot of leafy vegetables.
It’s safe to say that eating green leafy vegetables can have a positive impact on your brain health, especially if you think it’s possible Alzheimer’s is in your family. However, we understand that eating leafy greens is easier said than done because they can get quite boring. If you need inspiration, try one of these cabbage dishes or a creative salad recipe.
For tips for healthier aging, check out the 5 Best Foods for Memory Loss.