Since I have been doing a lot of nutrition seminars and speaking engagements lately on superfoods and healthy eating habits, it has been so fun to experiment with various combinations of super healthy ingredients. Last week, I thew together this with this High Antioxidant Superfoods Salad. My newest favorite ingredient is broccoli sprouts, and my kids and I are infatuated with them. They are so healthy and are said to help prevent cancer, reduce inflammation and even help protect against ulcers. This salad is also filled with some of my other super food favorites including berries, pumpkin seeds and colorful greens. If you want a refresher on the health benefits of blackberries, read my post on “Top 10 Health Benefits of Blackberries.” Feel free to add grilled chicken or shrimp along with your favorite salad dressing, or just simply use balsamic vinegar and oil.
I don’t tell too many people, but both of my parents have dementia, and my mom has had Alzheimer’s disease for several years. It is definitely tough stuff to deal with, and that is why I don’t talk about it publicly. However, when I come across new information on this topic, it always catches my eye. So, I thought I would share…A new study, from the Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, found that people in their late 80s with higher blood levels of B-complex vitamins, vitamins C, D and E, as well as the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish, showed less mental impairment and brain shrinkage typical of Alzheimer’s disease.
What you don’t eat matters, too. A recent Mayo Clinic study found that simply limiting food intake to fewer than 2,150 calories a day was linked to better brain health.
Here are 6 foods that are said to help with mental dexterity:
1. Beans– Beans and green peas provide a rich dietary source of B-complex vitamins (plus, they provide plenty of protein and fiber).
2. Citrus– Oranges and orange juice are a convenient and inexpensive source of ascorbic acid (aka vitamin C), as are tangerines, limes, lemons and other citrus fruits.
3. Almonds– Vitamin E occurs naturally in almonds, other nuts and avocados, and studies have shown that people with the highest blood levels of Vitamin E have a reduced risk of developing Alzheimer’s.
4 Fish– Polyunsaturated “healthy fats”, like those found in salmon, herring, and mackerel, reduce inflammation in the body and seem to help the heart function.
5. Spinach– Popeye’s favorite snack is rich in vitamins A and K, folic acid and iron, plus it’s versatile: It can be eaten raw in salads, baked, steamed or stir-fried.
6. Coffee– Amazingly, a study found that caffeinated coffee decreased blood levels of a plaque-forming protein and even reduced Alzheimer’s-like cognitive impairment.
7. Coconut oil– New studies are looking into whether or not coconut oil is helpful for brain aging and to help Alzheimer’s disease. More research is being done on this topic, but so far, so good.
See AARP for more information on this study.
Coffee photo above from Pinterest