Our diet has a big impact on our health. Eating well can help you to maintain a healthy weight and lower your chances of developing certain diseases, including dementia. Here are ten of the best foods you can eat to boost your brain power and your diet.
Packed full of protein, iron, antioxidants and a whole range of other nutrients, beans are one of the best ingredients you can eat. Eating beans on a regular basis has been shown to boost longevity and reduce the risk of stroke, a condition that shares risk factors with dementia. Make a Mexican bean chilli to get your daily dose.
Nuts are a fantastic source of healthy, unsaturated fat. Unsaturated fat has been shown by many studies to reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s. When buying nuts, make sure you choose unsalted varieties as excess salt in the diet can be damaging for your health. Enjoy nuts as a snack or in a delicious nut roast.
3. Sweet potatoes
Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of phytonutrients, fibre, vitamins A and C and minerals. They’ve also been shown to help regulate blood sugar and reduce inflammation. Sweet potatoes can be eaten as fries, mash or turned into baked potatoes.
4. Whole grains
Whole grains come complete with fibre, carbohydrates, protein and B vitamins, all of which are important for overall health and protecting against dementia. Most experts recommend eating around three servings of whole grain a day. This could include oats, buckwheat, bulgur wheat and millet. You can also buy whole grain bread from most supermarkets.
Turmeric has been shown to have a number of health-boosting properties. An anti-oxidant and an anti-inflammatory, turmeric can be added to curries, stews and even smoothies. Most importantly for those interested in lowering their dementia risk, turmeric has been shown to reduce the beta-amyloid plaques which can build up in the brain and cause Alzheimer’s.
Seeds are packed full of vitamin E and other brain-boosting nutrients. Throw a handful of pumpkin seeds on your salad or top your next stir fry with some toasted sesame seeds.
7. Oily fish
Oily fish are rich in omega-3 fatty acids which aid brain function. Cook up a grilled salmon, or enjoy mackerel on toast, to get your hit of this healthy ingredient.
Rich in protein and low in fat, lentils will make an excellent addition to your diet. Dahl is an easy and delicious way to prepare lentils. Throw in some turmeric and chickpeas to maximise the health benefits of your meal.
Dark, leafy greens such as spinach, kale and Swiss chard are packed full of brain-health nutrients. Add spinach to your salads, stews, pasta dishes and curries to boost your diet and make every meal that little bit healthier.
10. Olive oil
Olive oil is one of the healthiest ingredients you can include. Full of nutrients and offering a range of benefits, it’s a must have for any health-conscious cook. Invest in good-quality olive oil to maximise its health benefits. Add olive oil to salads and drizzle on soups and other dishes.
Find out more about dementia, and the help and support that’s available to you, by exploring our the dementia.network site