What to Eat to Prevent Dementia

Ms. Ayesha Nasir

3 min read

foods that prevent dementia

Your brain needs a regular supply of nutrients to remain healthy and functional. There is a growing realization that our diet affects the way our brain works. Changes in diet and the use of supplements may influence how a person experiences dementia and its progression. Certain medical conditions such as high cholesterol, diabetes, obesity, and high blood pressure can also increase the risk of dementia. Things that are usually healthy for the heart are also healthy for the brain, so the dietary guidelines that we are encouraged to follow to maintain heart health may also keep our brains healthy. There is also considerable scientific evidence that a healthy diet like the Mediterranean diet can lower the risk of Alzheimer’s and slow down cognitive decline. Here is a list of dietary changes and foods that prevent dementia to help you improve your brain’s health:

1- Reduce Calorie Intake

It is recommended that you start your meals with vegetable salad or soups to give your brain the illusion that you are eating more. Cutting down on calories won’t just help you shed pounds, it will also help reduce the risk of diseases associated with Alzheimer’s, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and sleep apnea. A 30 to 50 percent reduction in calorie intake will also slow down your metabolic rate and slow down oxidation throughout the body. This means your brain will be under less oxidative stress.

2- Eat Fruits and Vegetables

Studies have shown that higher vegetable consumption is linked with a slower rate of cognitive decline. Leafy green vegetables such as spinach, collards, kale, and broccoli are loaded with vitamins A and C and provide great benefit to the brain.

3- Spice It Up

Spices and herbs add flavor to your food allowing you to cut back on salt, butter, and oil. Since spices and herbs come from plants, they contain antioxidants and have many health benefits including preventing dementia. For instance, studies have shown that curcumin helps reduce the risk of arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, and depression.

4- Marinate Your Food Before Cooking

Harmful compounds called advanced glycation end-products (AGEs) are produced when sugar, fat, and protein react with heat. They are found in processed meats, sausages, and grilled and fried foods. Intake of high amounts of AGEs may cause harmful changes in the brain. Your AGE consumption can be greatly reduced by moistening your food. This can be achieved by poaching, braising, boiling or marinating fish and meat before broiling or grilling..

5- Eat Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds are a good source of selenium, vitamin E, and omega-3 fatty acids all of which promote brain health.

6- Drink Tea

Green and black teas contain catechins, which are anti-oxidants that fight oxidative damage.

7- Eat Coldwater Fish

Cold water fish are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids which reduce inflammation throughout the body, including the brain. Consumption of fish has been shown to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease significantly.

8- Olive oil

Use Olive oil as your main oil for cooking and in salad dressings. ​It is very healthy with monounsaturated fats and vitamin E, as well as antioxidants.

9- Blueberries

All berries have a positive effect on brain health, but blueberries have been studied the most. They contain flavonoids, which activate brain pathways associated with less cellular aging. Try to consume 1/2 cup of any berries three times a week.

10- Chocolate

Chocolate may be one of the tastiest ways to reduce the risk of dementia. Multiple studies have associated cocoa and dark chocolate with a lower chance of cognitive decline, according to a 2017 review.

The important thing to note, however, is that dark chocolate, not milk chocolate, generally is going to be more beneficial for your brain.

11- Cinnamon

Multiple studies have demonstrated that cinnamon, when given to mice, was correlated with an improvement in the ability to clear the buildup of protein in the brain that’s connected with Alzheimer’s disease, as well as improve memory and other cognitive functioning.

Additionally, cinnamon has been associated with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits, along with heart and lower blood pressure, all of which have been tied to better brain health.

12- Coffee/Caffeine

Caffeine in general and coffee specifically have been associated with cognitive benefits, including a significantly lower risk of progression from mild cognitive impairment to dementia.

Studies have also found specific benefits in overall memory, spatial memory, and working memory.

13- Mediterranean Diet

As opposed to one specific food, the Mediterranean diet is an overall approach to eating and includes several of the foods previously listed. It has been demonstrated to be strongly connected to an improved cognitive functioning and a lower risk of the development of dementia.

Consult a doctor if you have been experiencing memory difficulties and changes in cognitive skills. You can find and book an appointment with top neurologist in Lahore, Multan and Islamabad through oladoc.com. You can also call our helpline at 042-3890-0939 for assistance to find the RIGHT doctor for your health concerns.

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are intended to raise awareness about common health issues and should not be viewed as sound medical advice for your specific condition. You should always consult with a licensed medical practitioner prior to following any suggestions outlined in this article or adopting any treatment protocol based on the contents of this article.

Ms. Ayesha Nasir - Author Ms. Ayesha Nasir is a Dietitian practicing in Lahore. Ms. Ayesha Nasir has the following degrees: M.Phil Food and Nutrition, B.S Home Economics and has 5 years of experience. You can book an appointment with Ms. Ayesha Nasir by calling us or using the 'book appointment' button. Ms. Ayesha believes that a healthy diet is more than half of what constitutes good physical health. She thus tries to make the public aware about some basic healthy diet principles.