What Foods Can Influence Alzheimer’s?

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“Fish is brain food!”

We’ve often heard this and other statements about foods that are good for the brain. While we’ve known for years that a healthy diet helps with weight-loss and heart disease, studies have shown that it may help our memory as well. With Alzheimer’s disease affecting more than 5 million Americans today, more people are looking for ways to help reduce their risk.

According to recent studies by faculty at Harvard Medical School and MIND Center for Brain Health, the following foods are rich in vitamins and minerals that may not only protect the brain but also improve cognitive health.

  • Blueberries
  • Green and leafy vegetables, such as spinach, kale, and broccoli
  • Fatty fish, like omega-3-rich salmon, trout, and sardines
  • Coffee in moderation, but avoid adding sugars and syrups
  • Eggs

On the other end of the spectrum, studies also suggest that when we consume processed foods and sugar, we are pumping toxins into our body. Toxins, according to researchers, create inflammation, which can cause a build-up of plaque on the brain, harming our cognitive function.

The Alzheimer’s Association recommends avoiding the following foods, which can promote high inflammation levels, high cholesterol, and hypertension, and are associated with high incidences of cardiovascular disease, stroke, and dementia.

  • Sugar, including high fructose corn syrup
  • Saturated fats
  • Trans-fats, which include ingredients listed as “hydrogenated” or “partially hydrogenated”

Mealtime Tips for those with Dementia or Alzheimer’s

In addition to following the nutritional guidelines above, you can make mealtimes easier for a loved one with Alzheimer’s by doing the following:

  • Serve one dish at a time so you are not overwhelming him/her
  • Give them ample time to chew and swallow
  • Eat meals together, making it a social event
  • Check the food temperature. A person with dementia may not know if food is too hot or cold
  • Be open to food likes and dislikes, as a person with Alzheimer’s may have a change in food preferences
  • Limit distractions by providing a quiet place to eat

At New Horizons at Marlborough, our staff members offer attentive and compassionate care for those with Alzheimer’s, ensuring the ultimate level of security and comfort. If you are seeking an assisted living community for your relative, call us at 508.460.5200 to schedule a tour.

 

 

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