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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Here’s some food for thought. With the aging of American, the number of cases of Alzheimer’s disease is expected to triple by mid-century, affecting more than 100 million adults.
Now there is growing evidence that there may be a way to slow the development of dementia.
When Krysta Stasi shops, she tries to make healthy choices.
“I’m just really trying to make the effort to eat more greens and grains,” said Stasi.
Greens and grains are on the list of foods that have been linked to lower rates of cognitive decline.
“I would be happy to know I’m doing the right thing,” said Stasi.
Leafy green vegetables, blueberries, nuts & seeds, fatty fish and olive oil have all been associated with a lower risk of Alzheimer’s. So have whole grains, lentils and legumes.
“These foods all have different components in them that are either neuroprotective, they help protect our brain, or they give our brains fuel,” said registered dietitian Alissa Rumsey.
These so-called brain foods are also elements of the Mediterranean diet, which includes less red meat and processed foods. Nine out of 12 recent studies found a link between that diet and a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s.
The Alzheimer’s Association has evaluated the evidence and says it does point to a link between heart healthy foods and a lower risk of cognitive decline. Rumsey said those foods are an easy addition.
“It’s about trying to take those refined carbs, and the higher sugar foods and saturated fat out of your diet slowly and adding those other foods,” said Rumsey.
So it turns out, what’s good for the body may also be good for the brain.
The Alzheimer’s Association said a healthy diet should go along with other lifestyle guidelines including education and strategic challenges for the brain.