—A Special Report from Victor Marchione, MD
Assessing the diets of 2,100 New York City residents, researchers have found that the best recipe to lower your risk of Alzheimer’s disease consists of vegetables, fish, fruit, nuts and poultry. The less butter and red meat, the better.
The New Yorkers were older than 65 and, over four years, 253 developed Alzheimer’s. In this group, the study determined that people who eat the most dark green leafy vegetables, cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, etc.), tomatoes, nuts, fish and poultry — and the least red meat, organ meat, butter and high-fat dairy — had a 38% reduced risk of the world’s most common form of dementia. This was compared to those who consumed the fewest fruits, veggies and poultry and more red meat and fatty dairy products.
This observation study is another to suggest that the way we eat could protect our brain. It was published in the “Archives of Neurology.”
The 30 groups of foods that were assessed in the study were those that would influence your levels of these critical nutrients believed to offer protection from Alzheimer’s: omega-3 fatty acids; omega-6 fats, saturated fat; monounsaturated fats; vitamin E; vitamin B12; and folate.
Levels of these fats and vitamins can affect your risk of Alzheimer’s disease. This type of diet is very good for the heart, which in turn has been proven to be good for the brain. It may be that the health of blood vessels in the cardiovascular system is connected to the health of blood vessels to the brain — thereby the possible link between heart and brain. Doctors believe that most people with dementia have both blood vessel disease and degeneration in the brain cells.
Eating healthy just continues to play a wide variety of roles in the body, which makes sense, as the various nutrients in those foods go on to play so many important roles. What isn’t known is how much of a healthy vegetable a person would need to obtain protection from Alzheimer’s. But about nine servings a day of fruits and vegetables is a good base point.
Combining a diet high in the items mentioned above with daily exercise will provide you with a host of health benefits — protection from dementia being an important one to consider.