1 in 10 people age 65+ (10%) has Alzheimer’s Dementia, and many of us know someone who has been impacted by the disease. Although there is currently no cure for Alzheimer’s, cutting edge research shows that you can prevent and reverse the symptoms of cognitive decline at every age. Our lifestyles, such as what we eat, and our exercise and sleep patterns, all contribute to Alzheimer’s disease, and can be a secret weapon to boost your brain power!
Loma Linda University researchers, Dean & Ayesha Sherzai, M.D., explain, “Because of its fundamental role in sustaining and regenerating the body, food is the single greatest tool we have in the fight against Alzheimer’s.” In this blog we share the top foods to consume and avoid, as recommended by Dr. Dean & Ayesha Sherzai.
Top 20 Brain Power Foods
In Dr. Dean and Ayesha Sherzai’s book, The Alzheimer’s Solution, they share the top twenty brain-nourishing foods:
- Avocados have monounsaturated fats that support your vascular system and brain structure.
- Beans are high in antioxidants and minerals. Beans have been shown to reduce strokes, increase longevity, lower cholesterol, and regulate glucose.
- Dark Chocolate, the purest forms of unprocessed cocoa or cacao nibs, have been shown to support the flow of oxygen and nutrients to the brain, decrease risk of stroke, and relax arteries.
- Fresh herbs and herbal teas like rosemary and mint contain almost ten times the antioxidants of nuts and berries.
- Nuts contain the largest source of healthy fats.
- Quinoa is a nutrient-rich food that contains protein, fiber, Vitamin E, and various minerals.
- Sweet Potatoes are packed with healthy fiber, vitamins, and minerals and help to regulate blood sugar, and decrease inflammation.
- Leafy Greens are rich in polyphenols (plant antioxidants), vitamins, and nutrients that support brain health.
- Turmeric: Curcumin, an extract of Turmeric, is a powerhouse antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antiamyloid.
- Blueberries have shown to lower the risk of cognitive decline.
- Coffee contains potent antioxidants and stimulates neuroprotective agents in the brain.
- Broccoli contains antioxidants that can reverse damage caused by aging.
- Extra-Virgin Olive Oil contains healthy fatty acids.
- Flax Seed contains the highest amount of plant-based omega-3 fatty acids that reduce inflammation and negative cholesterol.
- Mushrooms are a great source of vitamins, overall immunity, and decrease inflammation.
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids (derived from algae) boost your immune system and reduce inflammation.
- Seeds like Chia and Sunflower are high in brain-boosting minerals like Vitamin E.
- Spices contain the highest amounts of antioxidants of all foods and support positive brain detox systems.
- Whole Grains have immense cholesterol-lowering fiber, complex (healthy) carbs, protein and vitamins. The healthiest whole grains include oats, millet, and amaranth.
Foods to Avoid
Dr. Dean and Ayesha Sherzai also share the top 10 foods to avoid:
- Processed Foods like cookies, chips, and bread are full of sugar, saturated fat, and salt that can clog arteries and damage the brain.
- Processed Meats like salami have preservatives, saturated fat, and salt, causing inflammation and can damage brain blood vessels.
- Red Meat is high in inflammatory saturated fats, which leads to vascular and cellular damage.
- Chicken is the main source of cholesterol in the American diet, containing three times more fat than protein, and contributing to obesity.
- Butter and Margarine are high in unhealthy fats that can blog your arteries and harm the brain.
- Fried Food and Fast Food are high in trans fats that reduces brain volume and leads to brain function decline.
- Cheese is high in saturated fat and damages blood vessels in the brain.
- Pastries and Sweets contain high amounts of sugar that leads to inflammation.
- Sugary Drinks are the main source of sugar in the American diet, causing neurological damage.
- Excessive Alcohol: Alcohol directly damages brain cells.
Boost Your Brain Power with Activities and Services Found on Sequoia Strong™
Sequoia Strong™ is your FREE personal resource guide to healthy living for all ages. Boost your brain power with activities and services found on Sequoia Strong™ like the Sequoia Healthcare District’s Living Healthy workshop series, local farmer’s markets where you can pick up brain boosting foods, or numerous fitness activities like Pickleball. Pickleball is the most popular, beginner-friendly, sport for Adults 50+ in the District! Join in on the game at Veterans Memorial Senior Center in Redwood City, Sequoia YMCA in Redwood City, and Peninsula Jewish Community Center in Foster City. Search for additional activities and services to boost your brain power at sequoiastrong.org
Catch up on more health topics via the hottest health blog in the District!