Your diet plays a bigger role in your health than you might think.
We know how important a healthy lifestyle is for reducing our risk of high cholesterol, heart problems and diabetes, but one condition that your diet plays a big role in is dementia.
Dr Bredesen, an American expert in the mechanisms of neurodegenerative diseases, found that nutrition and lifestyle have a major impact on the many underlying causes of Alzheimer’s Disease – and could reduce the risk of getting the disease.
Beating cognitive decline is heavily factored on eating a brain-boosting diet. Here, Monique Parker, qualified and registered Nutritional Therapist, reveals what to eat – and what not to eat for a healthy and happy brain.
Pop these on your shopping list:
- Lots of vegetables, preferably organic – at least 5-8 portions a day, including dark green vegetables
- Eat a ‘rainbow’, eat as many different colours fruit and vegetables a day so you get a good variety of nutrients.
- Good quality protein: this includes free-range or grass-fed organic meat, small, wild fish like salmon, or sardines, free-range, organic eggs, nuts and seeds
- Healthy fats – coconut oil, ghee, olive oil, avocado, nuts, seeds, and oily fish
- Low glycaemic foods, which slow down the release of sugar into the bloodstream. Look for complex carbohydrates: brown rice, gluten-free oats, vegetables, fruit, pulses; a moderate intake of starchy carbohydrates such as carrots and beetroot and two portions of low-sugar fruit like berries or green apple.
- Foods that are high in antioxidants such as the ‘rainbow’ of coloured vegetables and fruits, cocoa, green tea and dark chocolate.
- Herbs and spices: turmeric, ginger, cloves, cinnamon, rosemary, oregano, sage, thyme.
Clear your cupboards of these offenders:
- Refined sugar foods. Biscuits, sweets, soft drinks, ready-made sauces, fruit juice and other processed foods are out.
- Fast foods.
- Refined white carbohydrates such as pasta, rice and breads.
- It can cause a ‘leaky gut’ but also a ‘leaky brain’. A leaky brain allows damaging substances such as heavy metals, toxins and bacteria to enter the brain and cause damage to the brain tissue.
- Bad fats – sunflower oil, vegetable oils and trans-fats like margarine.
- Low fat products, as the fat is often replaced with additional sugars and chemical sweeteners.
- Try to reduce your intake of dairy products. If you do tolerate dairy, choose organic. If you do have an issue with dairy, try alternatives such as almond, coconut or oat milk.
- Cut down on caffeine and alcohol
- Meat and fish that is burnt or overcooked.
If you are interested in working on your cognitive health with a nutritional therapist, check out https://www.action-against-alzheimers.co.uk/. The Action Against Alzheimer’s programme is a diet and lifestyle programme to optimise brain health, based on Dr.
Monique Parker is a qualified and registered Nutritional Therapist in Woking, Surrey, who offers one to one consultations. Check out http://www.nutritionforyou.co.uk/ or follow her on Facebook @monutrition4u