This Is the 1 Food You Should Eat Every Day If You Want to Fight Dementia

No one wants to increase their risk of developing dementia. Although we already know some risk factors, we still have a lot to learn. Still, the best way to fight dementia is to prevent it in the first place.

Research shows eating right can boost your memory. On the flip side, some foods like sugar and processed meats may increase your dementia risk. So fight the disease by eating the following key foods (especially the surprising item on page 9).

1. Cruciferous vegetables

brussels sprouts

Many creative recipes give delicious ways to prepare brussels sprouts. | Bhofack2/iStock/Getty Images

We get it; people are sick of hearing “eat your veggies.” Still, we can’t help but repeat the sentiment because broccoli, brussels sprouts, and cauliflower are so darn good for your brain.

Cruciferous vegetables — from the cabbage family — contain cartenoids that reduce homo-cysteine, an amino acid connected to cognitive impairment. Shoot for three or more 1/2 cup servings each week.

Next: A versatile, healthy treat for your sweet tooth

2. Berries and cherries

woman picking blueberries

Berries are good for the brain. | Michael Urban/AFP/Getty Images

Loaded with antioxidants and vitamin C, berries and cherries have anti-inflammatory properties and contain anthocyanin, which protects the brain from further damage caused by free radicals. Start a new routine by adding berries and cherries to your morning smoothies.

Next: Everyone’s favorite fungi

3. Mushrooms

Sauteing sliced mushrooms in a skillet

Their growing conditions gross some people out. | iStock.com/Jatrax

Okay, so the healthiest way to eat your shrooms is probably not on a pizza. But fresh and dried mushrooms can give you a needed boost of vitamin B12, which may lower your risk of Alzheimer’s.

The fungi is also known to improve your metabolism, bladder function, and immune system. So add them to your frittata, soup, or veggie burger for amazing health benefits.

Next: Spice up your life.

4. Certain spices

Cinnamon sticks | iStock.com

Spices like cinnamon, turmeric, cumin and sage have inflammation-fighting properties, and inflammation in the brain is a potential cause of memory problems. These spices also help break up brain plaque, which can lead to memory issues. So, add cinnamon to your coffee or cook some flavorful meals to get brain-food benefits.

Next: Go nuts for this crunchy food.

5. Walnuts

Walnuts

Walnuts are a great source of omega-3s. | iStock.com/seb_ra

If your diet contains daily omega-3s, you’ll have a 26% smaller chance of developing brain lesions that lead to dementia. Luckily, one crunchy snack is loaded with this nutrient. Top your salad with walnuts for all the omega-3 benefits; it’s also high in fiber, manganese, and vitamin E.

Next: If you like foods with texture, you’ll love this food.

6. Chia Seeds

Chia seeds

These seeds are super healthy. | Source: iStock

No, these little seeds don’t come from a terracotta figurine. Chia seeds are one of the best ingredients you can add to a smoothie or sprinkle on your granola bowl.

Full of omega-3 fatty acids, as well as manganese, calcium, phosphorus and protein — yes, 4 grams of protein in every 2 tablespoons — chia seeds will help you digest, recover, and think better.

Next: Don’t be afraid to get fishy.

7. Fatty fish

fresh salmon with asparagus

Eat some fatty fish, like salmon. | bonchan/iStock/Getty Images

“Fatty” sounds bad, but when it’s related to fatty fish it won’t add to your waistline. A small fish like mackerel is actually packed with omega-3s, which fight dementia.

Herring, salmon, anchovies, and sardines are also heavy in omega-3s as well as potassium, selenium, magnesium, and B vitamins. You’ll benefit from a lower risk of depression and heart disease, too.

Next: This is even better news. 

8. Dark chocolate

Chocolate bar on the wooden background

Time to celebrate! | al62/iStock/Getty Images

Dessert isn’t off limits even when you’re trying to eat for your brain health. According to Harvard Health, small amounts of dark chocolate provide your body with flavanols, which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits.

Next: Consume this surprising item daily to stave off dementia.

9. Wine

Friends hands toasting red wine glass and having fun outdoors cheering with winetasting - Young people enjoying harvest time together at farmhouse vineyard countryside - Youth and friendship concept

Finally, an excuse for wine. | ViewApart/iStock/Getty Images

Good news, wine lovers: One glass of vino a day can help you prevent cognitive decline. Research shows a very moderate amount of alcohol is associated with a lower dementia risk.

Next: Improve your focus and your brain with one beloved drink.

10. Coffee

Mature couple are enjoying a cup of coffee

The many benefits of a cup of joe… | DGLimages/iStock/Getty Images

Many welcome an excuse to drink more coffee. It can improve your focus at work and benefit your brain long-term, too. Compared to those who avoided caffeine altogether, those who drink coffee form memories better, according to research.

Rich in antioxidants, coffee may stimulate the brain’s neuro-protective agents. One study showed a reduction in cognitive decline when older females consumed caffeine.

Next: This versatile kitchen staple offers tons of health benefits.

11. Beans

Red bean on wooden table

If you aren’t eating beans regularly, it’s time to start. | Piyaset/iStock/Getty Images

You may have heard beans are a “magical fruit,” but this kitchen staple offers more than flatulence. Packed with fiber and protein, this inexpensive ingredient can help you fight dementia. Researchers advise eating at least three servings of the low-calorie, low-fat food a week to reap the health benefits, according to WebMD.

Next: Eat your grains. 

12. Whole grains

Healthy breakfast

You can spice this breakfast staple up in various ways. | iStock.com/Arx0nt

Enjoy some whole grains like quinoa, kamut, or gluten-free oats. According to The Whole Grains Council, grain-based foods can boost your cognitive health and extend your life. The Mediterranean diet includes plenty of grains, so this makes sense.

Next: These veggies pack a powerful nutritional punch.

13. Leafy greens

Tuscan kale salad on a white plate topped with chopped almonds and shaved Parmesan cheese

Spice up your salad. | iStock.com

One study found leafy greens could make your mind 11 years younger. Researchers found those who ate one or two servings of spinach, kale, and microgreens daily had slower rates of cognitive decline.

Low in calories and high in dietary fiber, they’re also great for weight management. Leafy greens reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease, improve the function of your immune system, and protect you from cataracts, just to name a few.

Don’t be afraid to mix things up with some creative recipes, such as burritos wrapped in collard greens or spinach and kale turnovers.

Next: This diet, in particular, has proven brain-boosting benefits.

14. The Mediterranean diet

Research this diet for meal tips. | iStock.com

If you enjoy Mediterranean food, you’re in luck: It’s a diet with a proven dementia risk. So what does this diet entail? Mimicking the diets of those from the Mediterranean, this way of eating involves an abundance of olive oil, vegetables, fruit, legumes, whole grains, fish and poultry — and very little red meat.

The diet has other benefits as well, such as a lower risk of heart disease and early death, so you may want to familiarize yourself with the meal plan.

Next: The many health benefits of this food are no secret.

15. Poultry

Chicken on grill

Poultry is often recommended as a healthy source of protein.| Shaiith/iStock/Getty Images

It’s probably no surprise that when it comes to healthy eating, poultry should be one of your go-to proteins. Poultry products like chicken and turkey offer a host of health benefits and are easy enough to incorporate into a multitude of recipes to keep your diet from becoming too monotonous.

Next: This might be the most brain-healthy meal ever.

16. The perfect dementia-fighting meal

Fresh salmon citrus salad

Add whatever toppings you’d like, but the basics can remain the same. | Aldi

The best part about these dementia-fighting foods is you can combine them for maximum benefits.

For example, this Brain Power Salad contains spinach, blueberries, salmon, avocado, and chia seeds — all brain-boosters. Have one of these for dinner with a small glass of red wine and a little dark chocolate for dessert to keep your mind sharp.

Next: Diet matters, but there are other things you can do to stop cognitive decline in its tracks. 

17. Other ways to prevent dementia

Crossword puzzles will keep your mind sharp. | Jas0420/iStock/Getty Images

A diet rich in leafy greens and other “brain foods” is important in the battle against dementia. But there are plenty of other easy things you can do to reduce your risk. Taking a vitamin K supplement, doing crossword puzzles, and getting plenty of sleep are also great brain-boosters.

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