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Food and the Affects on Alzheimer's

Because I love to cook, it was important for me to research if food is a key to reducing the risk factors. In this blog I will share what I have learned about healthy eating from the book “This is Your Brain on Food” by Uma Naidoo, MD. She describes that the foods we eat affect our mental health in many ways. Specifically for Alzheimer’s and dementia, it goes under the premise that it is important to follow the MIND Diet which I will document in its own blog.

In her book, Doctor Naidoo, has strategies to lower risks of Alzheimer's and I'm giving you a summarized version here, however I suggest you read her whole book as it has great information about what food does to our bodies.

Strategies we need to embrace to lower the risk – work with your doctor to ensure no other medical condition is impacted by following these strategies:

  • Calorie restriction: Work with your doctor to make a plan to reduce your total calorie intake by 25%. Studies show restricting calories in elderly patients helped improve memory after three months.

  • Alcohol: 3-5 drinks per week is ideal for women and 5-7 drinks for men with preference being wine. Research shows light use of alcohol in middle-to-late adulthood decreased risk of cognitive impairment and dementia. However, heavy consumption increased risk of all types of cognitive impairment and dementia.

  • Coffee: Caffeine increases serotonin and acetylcholine which stimulates the brain; therefore, it is beneficial. Research shows people who drank 3-5 cups of coffee per day had the lowest risk of dementia

  • Olive oil: Olive oil protects cognition as it has at least 30 phenolic compounds all which act as strong antioxidants and help protect the brain.

  • Herbs and spices: Turmeric, black pepper, cinnamon, saffron, rosemary, ginger and sage have shown to enhance memory

  • For brain fog: Brain fog occurs when you cannot think clearly or concentrate. Luteolin-rich foods that work as antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents have shown to prevent toxic destruction of nerve cells in the brain and help with brain fog. Foods that contain Luteolin are juniper berries, fresh peppermint, sage, thyme, hot and sweet peppers, radicchio, celery, parsley, artichoke, and dried oregano.

This is your brain on food

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