In 2015, researchers at Rush University Medical Center presented a diet to combat the degenerative disease. The MIND diet (Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay) shows potential for lowering the risk of Alzheimer's by more than 50%. According to the study results, even people who do not strictly follow the diet could reduce their risk of dementia-related diseases.

Spinach and Other Leafy Greens

Consuming about six servings per week of spinach and other leafy greens such as kale, collard greens, broccoli, and turnip and mustard greens could have a positive impact on future mental health. These vegetables offer a wealth of nutrients including vitamin A, E, and C, deficiency of which may be linked to an increased risk of Alzheimer's disease. These vitamins help fight oxidative stress, a factor in the death of brain cells. Leafy greens are also a rich source of folate, a type of B vitamin linked with brain health.

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Champagne (with Some Caveats)

Limited consumption of champagne could reduce mental decline. Animal studies suggest Champagne, pinot meunier, and pinot noir grapes produce specific, beneficial phenolics during fermentation. These compounds can alter proteins responsible for memory storage in the brain. Keep in mind that these studies were carried out in animals and do not necessarily apply to humans. The amount of champagne was equivalent to a human drinking one to three glasses weekly. Talk to your doctor before drinking alcohol, especially if you have other medical problems.

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These superfoods, which also include acai berries, are packed with antioxidants. According to the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, they may help reduce the build-up of plaque in the brain, which is believed to be a key factor in the development of Alzheimer's. Some research also links antioxidant-rich blueberries with improvements in brain function and memory in older adults.

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Go Nuts for Nuts

Preliminary research suggests omega-3s, omega-6s, vitamin E, folate, vitamin B6, and magnesium in almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, peanut, pecans, and walnuts could help prevent Alzheimer's. The bulk of the animal studies revolve around walnuts and mice with a form of Alzheimer's that causes memory loss, physical motor decline, and anxious behavior. Three groups of mice were fed their normal diets, with two groups receiving walnuts in different amounts. Both walnut-eating groups showed improvement in all areas of their disease.

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Coffee and Caffeine

While the jury is still out on the health benefits of coffee overall, studies show it may aid in the prevention of Alzheimer's. The stimulant could delay the onset of dementia in seniors already showing signs of the disease by blocking brain inflammation and, consequently, reducing cognitive decline. Additionally, administering 200mg of caffeine improved memory test results in test subjects when compared to an uncaffeinated control group.

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Dark Chocolate

Flavonoids in dark chocolate are known to have many health benefits including improved circulation and reduced risk of heart disease, and those same flavonoids may also help fight off dementia. An Italian study credits dark chocolate with improving results in cognitive tests on adults demonstrating early signs of mild dementia. Improvements were apparent as little as two months after the subjects began drinking high-flavonoid dark chocolate.

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Adding turmeric to dishes or drinking turmeric tea could have considerable benefits on mental wellness. Turmeric is a popular natural health choice, and recently, researchers from UCLA found a combination of vitamin D3 and turmeric can reduce brain plaque associated with Alzheimer's disease. However, this research took place in a laboratory using human immune cells rather than live humans. More research is needed to confirm these findings. Still, turmeric is a tasty way to spice up dishes while, possibly, getting health benefits.

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Fatty Fish

Research shows fish high in omega-3 fatty acids -- such as mackerel, sardines, and salmon -- may play a role in preventing Alzheimer's. Omega-3s and omega-6s are well-recognized in the field of brain health, so it is not too surprising that consuming around eight ounces per week could improve brain function.

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Numerous animal studies showcase cinnamon's ability to improve memory and cognitive functioning and reduce the build-up of a protein plaque associated with Alzheimer's disease. Cinnamon seems to have such healing potential that even its scent can improve memory, though you must ingest it to enjoy its anti-inflammatory benefits.

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Other Vegetables

Vegetables are an essential component of the MIND diet, so it is not surprising that eating an abundance of them correlates to brain health. Studies link greater consumption of flavonoids, natural compounds in some fruits and vegetables, with a lower risk of Alzheimer's disease. Good vegetable sources of flavonols include onions, kale, romaine lettuce, cabbage, and tomatoes.

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Olive Oil

Extra-virgin olive oil, a cornerstone of the Mediterranean diet, is lauded for its heart-healthy fats because it contains anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds. Its benefits extend beyond cardiovascular health, touching on the realm of cognitive function and brain health. Rich in monounsaturated fats, olive oil is thought to reduce inflammation and oxidative stress in the brain, potentially lowering the risk of Alzheimer's disease. Drizzling olive oil over salads or using it in cooking can be an easy and delicious way to incorporate this brain-boosting food into your daily regimen.

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Whole grains

Whole grains, such as oats, quinoa, and brown rice, provide a steady supply of glucose, the brain's preferred energy source. Consuming whole grains with a low glycemic index can help maintain stable blood sugar levels, ensuring a constant energy supply to the brain and supporting cognitive function. These nutrient-dense foods are also rich in B vitamins, which play a vital role in brain health and may help decrease by reducing. High levels of these have been linked to an increased risk of Alzheimer's disease. Integrating whole grains into your meals can be a simple yet effective strategy for nurturing brain health.

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Spices and Herbs

Spices like cinnamon and sage not only enhance the flavor of dishes but also come with cognitive benefits. Cinnamon has been shown to improve memory and cognitive processing, and it may help reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease. It works by decreasing inflammation, improving insulin sensitivity, and by inhibiting the buildup of tau protein in the brain. Sage, on the other hand, has been associated with improvements in memory recall and attention. These spices represent an easy and aromatic way to boost cognitive health, suggesting that a little dash can go a long way in supporting brain function.

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