The risk of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease in the elderly can be positively influenced by a good diet and a good lifestyle. Discover here the 10 useful tips to keep your brain in good shape in the long term.
There are many ways to keep your memory in shape. This is especially important as we age to prevent diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
Experts warn that the number of deaths from dementia worldwide will increase by 40% by 2030, making protecting brainpower all the more important.
Lifestyle can protect the brain
Although the disease is hereditary in some cases, other cases can be avoided through a healthy lifestyle.
Along with regular brain training, even small things — like brushing your teeth twice a day — can lower your risk of Alzheimer’s disease. And diet also plays an important role.
In fact, a comprehensive nutritional plan called the MIND diet has been developed to reduce the risk of developing dementia.
Neuroscientist and director of the Alzheimer’s Disease Prevention Clinic at Weill Cornell Medical College, Dr. Lisa Mosconi is certain that we can protect our brains from dementia with the right diet.
In an interview with English-language portal ‘thesun’, she shared her top ten tips.
10 tips and tricks to boost your brain performance
1. Eat a healthy breakfast
for Dr. Mosconi, breakfast is clearly the most important meal of the day. The brain needs a lot of energy in the morning, which it gets best from fresh fruit, whole grains, and lean protein.
Berry porridge, eggs on wholemeal toast or fruit salad with nuts are perfect.
2. Avoid fast food
Everyone should be aware that fast food is not particularly good for the figure and health. In fact, eating this way can also affect brain health.
Namely, these foods contain refined oils, sugars, chemicals and pesticides. All the things you don’t want to have in your body, right? Therefore, it is better to rely more on delicious and fresh food that you prepare yourself – keyword: Healthy eating.
3. Season generously
“Americans are eight times more likely to contract Alzheimer’s disease than Indians,” says Dr. Mosconi. “It’s partly because they eat less processed waste, but also because of the spices they use in cooking.”
For example, turmeric is a powerful anti-inflammatory rich in health-promoting antioxidants. “Several studies have already proven its protective effect against dementia and memory loss”, confirms Dr. Mosconi.
4. A small glass of red wine
Good news for all wine lovers: red wine helps protect the brain. It contains an antioxidant called resveratrol, which is believed to have a variety of health benefits.
Mosconi therefore recommends drinking a small glass of red wine daily for brain health. It is doubtful that daily alcohol consumption is actually healthy.
As an alternative, you can use grape, pomegranate or plum juice with a clear conscience.
5. Eat more dark chocolate
Dark chocolate is a true superfood thanks to its antioxidant properties, the darker the better! “Anything over 85% cocoa has a decent nutrient profile, is low in sugar, and also high in minerals,” says Dr. Mosconi.
Melted fruits can also be deliciously refined – of course in moderation. Snacking is expressly permitted in this case.
6. Intermittent fasting
Intermittent fasting is not about drastically reducing calorie intake. Breakfast is simply pushed back a bit or dinner is brought forward a few hours.
Intermittent fasting aims to take a break of 12 to 16 hours between dinner and the first meal the next day.
This reduces calorie intake in a natural way, which can increase brain power – brain cells get stronger when hungry.
7. Restful Sleep
Good sleep affects almost everything in our body. Therefore, a lack of good quality sleep can seriously harm brain health and even increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
“Studies show that adults who sleep less than five hours a night have higher levels of brain deposits conducive to Alzheimer’s disease than adults who sleep more than seven hours,” says Dr. Mosconi.
During sleep, the brain can break down harmful waste, which is essential for memory performance, among other things.
8. Drink plenty of water
Drinking enough water is extremely important for overall health. The same goes for our brain health.
Water helps remove waste from the body. Two liters a day should also help increase brain function by up to 30%.
The best way to start the day is to drink a large glass of warm water as soon as you wake up.
9. Plant-Based Diet
Veganism is all the rage these days and it may even be good for the brain. Plants contain all the vitamins (except vitamin B12), minerals, good carbohydrates, healthy fats and lean proteins that the body needs.
Therefore, as many fresh fruits and vegetables as possible should always be added to meals. Avocados and nuts in particular are big proponents of gray cells.
Because nuts are high in calories and nutritious, eating a small portion — about a handful — each day is enough. They look great on a salad or as a topping for porridge and yogurt.
10. Avoid Tupperware
Doctor Mosconi advises against the use of aluminum, plastics or synthetic materials such as Teflon when packaging food because they contain the compound polytetrafluoroethylene – which is harmful to brain health.
Tip: It is best to use stainless steel, glass and ceramic cookware.