Foods for a Healthy Brain

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An antioxidant Role Research has shown evidence that free radicals which damage tissues in the body, including the brain, may play a role in Alzheimer’s disease. The production of antioxidants in the body, that help control free radicals, may not be enough to stop the attack. But you can get more antioxidants in your body by eating fruits and vegetables. Also, the supplementation of multi-vitamins could be useful. A study involving more than 1,800 men and women at the University of South Florida, found that those who drank fruit and vegetable juices three times a week had a 76% lower risk of developing suspected Alzheimer’s disease than people who drank juices less than once a week. The researchers concluded that “fruit and vegetable juices play an important role in delaying the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.

B-vitamins for the brain Investigation is on the way that B-vitamins can also play a role in treating Alzheimer’s disease. Our body uses B-vitamins to help maintain the protective covering on nerves and to manufacture chemicals that nerves use to communicate. When levels of B-vitamins decline, mental performance may suffer. In addition, an increased level of homocysteine – an amino acid – may raise your risk of Alzheimer’s disease. B-vitamins assist in lowering your homocysteine level by breaking it down. Good sources of thiamine, a B-vitamin, include pork, sunflower seeds, and enriched grain products. For vitamin B12, meats such as turkey, chicken livers, and lamb, and seafood such as steamed clams, bluefin tuna, and sardines, are all good sources. For folate, good sources include enriched cereals and enriched flour. For vitamin B6: chickpeas, potatoes, chicken, and bananas.

Watch this one! Some Alzheimer’s researchers have a growing interest, a natural substance called acetyl-l-carnitine. This amino acid resembles the one found in dairy foods, kidney beans, eggs, and red meat. Research suggests that carnitine, which helps carry fats into brain cells, may help to slow down the progression of the disease. British researchers compiled the results of multiple studies on acetyl- l-carnitine that examined the substance’s effect on mild cognitive impairment and early Alzheimer’s disease. They found that the substance had a “beneficial effect” after just three months, and the improvement got even better over time.

Copy the eating habits of the Mediterranean people. The Mediterranean diet consists of an abundance of fruit and vegetables, fish, whole grains, and unsaturated fats such as olive oil and canola oil. It may help to protect you from Alzheimer’s, as well as heart disease and cancer. Researchers from Columbia University in New York City followed the eating habits and cognitive health of 2,258 New Yorkers for 4 years and found that those who most closely followed the Mediterranean eating style were 40% less likely to develop Alzheimer’s than the people who least resembled the Mediterranean diet. Heavy Metal

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, researchers in the 1960s suspected that aluminium may play a role in the disease. Since then there has been much conflicting information about whether or not the metal is connected with the disease that it’s hard to say with any certainty that it plays a role. If it does, it’s only a small one. According to the National Institutes of Health, it’s hard to avoid aluminium, since it’s one of the most abundant elements found in the environment. However, if you do want to reduce your exposure, just to be on the safe side, the following steps will help:

* Avoid storing or cooking foods in aluminium foil.

* Avoid processed cheese, which contains a significant amount of aluminium.

* Avoid cooking highly acidic foods, such as tomato products, in aluminium pans.

* Although aluminium beverage cans usually have a coating to minimize the metal that leaches into the drink, buying beverages in bottles will eliminate this exposure.

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