There are many ways and means to keep your memory fit. This is particularly important as we age to prevent diseases such as Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Experts warn that the number of deaths from dementia worldwide will increase by 40 percent by 2030 – making it all the more important to protect the gray cells.
Keep your brain fit through a healthy lifestyle
While the disease is hereditary in some cases, other cases can be avoided through a healthy lifestyle.
In addition to regular brain training, even small things – like brushing your teeth twice a day – can reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s. And diet also plays an important role.
In fact, an entire nutritional plan called the MIND diet has been developed to reduce the likelihood of developing dementia.
Neuroscientist and director of the Alzheimer’s Prevention Clinic at Weill Cornell Medical College, Dr. Lisa Mosconi, is certain that we can protect our brain from dementia with the right diet.
In an interview with the English-language portal ‘thesun’, she shared her ten best tips.
1. A small glass of red wine
Good news for all wine fans: Red wine helps protect the brain. It contains an antioxidant called resveratrol, which is believed to have a variety of health benefits.
dr Mosconi therefore recommends drinking a small glass of red wine daily for brain health. Whether daily alcohol consumption is actually healthy is doubtful.
As an alternative, you can use grape, pomegranate or plum juice with a clear conscience.
2. Don’t skip 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.
Porridge with berries, eggs on wholemeal toast or a fruit salad with nuts are therefore perfect.
3. Avoid fast food
Everyone should be aware that fast food is not particularly good for your figure and health. In fact, eating this way can also affect brain health.
Namely, these foods contain refined oils, sugars, chemicals and pesticides. All things you don’t want to have in your body, right? Therefore, it is better to rely more on delicious, fresh food that you prepare yourself – keyword: Clean Eating.
4. Season generously
“Americans are eight times more likely to get Alzheimer’s than Indians,” says Dr. Mosconi. “That’s partly because they eat less processed junk, 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.
5. Eat more dark chocolate
Dark chocolate is a true superfood thanks to its antioxidant properties, the darker the better! “Anything over 85 percent cacao has a decent nutritional profile, is low in sugar and also rich in minerals,” says Dr. Mosconi.
Melted down, fruit can also be refined in a delicious way – of course only 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 little or dinner is brought forward a few hours.
The aim of intermittent fasting is to take a break of 12 to 16 hours between dinner and the first meal of the following day.
This reduces calorie intake in a natural way, which can increase brain power – brain cells get stronger when they’re hungry.
7. Restful sleep
Good sleep affects almost everything in our body. Accordingly, a lack of good quality sleep can seriously damage brain health and even increase the risk of Alzheimer’s.
“Studies show that adults who sleep less than five hours a night have higher levels of Alzheimer’s-prone brain deposits than adults who sleep more than seven hours,” explains Dr. Mosconi.
During sleep, the brain can break down harmful waste products, which is essential for memory performance, among other things.
Picture gallery: 11 tips for a better sleep
8. Drink lots of water
Drinking enough water is extremely important for overall health. The same applies to our brain health.
Water helps flush waste products out of the body. Two liters a day should also help to increase brain function by up to 30 percent.
The best way to start the day is to drink a large glass of lukewarm water as soon as you wake up.
9. Plant-based diet
Veganism is in vogue these days and it can even benefit the brain. Plants contain all the vitamins (exception: vitamin B12), minerals, good carbohydrates, healthy fats and lean protein that the body needs.
Therefore, as much fresh fruit and vegetables as possible should always be added to meals. Avocados and nuts in particular are great supporters for the gray cells.
Because nuts are high in calories and nutritious, eating a small portion—about a handful—every day is enough. They look great on a salad or as a topping for porridge and yoghurt.
10. Avoid Tupperware
dr Mosconi advises against the use of aluminium, plastics or synthetic materials such as Teflon when packaging food because they contain the compound polytetrafluoroethylene – which is harmful to brain health.
Tip: Instead, it is better to use kitchen utensils made of stainless steel, glass and ceramics.