Foods That May Slow or Prevent Alzheimer’s – Part 2
It’s hard to believe that Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States, because it often goes undiagnosed until it’s too late. The good news is that early diagnosis and treatment can improve quality of life for patients and their families. If you or a loved one are experiencing memory loss or other symptoms of Alzheimer’s, be sure to talk to your doctor. There may be treatments available that can help.
Researchers recently found that fruit intake can greatly reduce older adults’ risk of Alzheimer’s mortality. In the National Runners’ and Walkers’ Health Study, researchers analyzed the diets of over 150,000 adults ages 45 and above to explore the impact of diet and exercise on Alzheimer’s mortality.2 Alzheimer’s disease mortality was greatly reduced in Individuals who consumed a few servings of fruit every day. Here are the findings:
40% lower Alzheimer’s mortality with 2 servings of fruit daily
60% lower Alzheimer’s mortality with 3 or more servings of fruit daily
Regular fruit intake has been associated with lower levels of dementia in other studies. While the exact biological mechanisms behind these findings are not fully understood, researchers speculate that individuals who consume fruit on a daily basis are likely to engage in other healthful dietary practices, including an overall healthy diet, regular physical activity, absence of smoking, and limited alcohol consumption.
Examples of such healthy dietary characteristics include lower intake of saturated fat and trans-unsaturated fat, and an increased intake of fish/omega-3 fatty acid, vitamin D, and folate. This type of nutrient intake reflects the Mediterranean diet, which looks like this: 3
Eating primarily plant-based foods, such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes and nuts
Replacing butter with healthy fats, such as olive oil
Using herbs and spices instead of salt to flavor foods
Limiting red meat to no more than a few times a month
Eating fish and poultry at least twice a week
Drinking red wine in moderation (optional)
While diet is a major factor in maintaining a healthy, active lifestyle, there is more to health than the food you eat. However, incorporating fruits and veggies into every meal and snack is an excellent way to lessen your risk of chronic diseases, lose or maintain weight, and feel great overall.
6 Practical Ways to Add More Fruit To Your Day
Know Your Colors! Each fruit or veggie color helps provide you with an array of various vitamins and nutrients.
Seasonal Shopping. Shop seasonally to ensure freshness and add variety to your diet all year long.
Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth. Skip the ice cream and candy and satisfy that craving with fruit.
Enjoy Natural Sweetness. Don’t shy away from fruit because of the sugar content. The sugar in fruit (fructose) and everyday table sugar (sucrose) differ. The Difference Between Fructose and Sucrose.
Make It Easy. Prepare fruits to grab with you as on-the-go snacks. Pack apples, bananas, grapes, orange slices in baggies for quick go-to snacks. Pair them with nuts or low-fat yogurt for a more filling snack.
Experiment. Try new main dishes that incorporate fruits – try apple corn chili, apple chicken stir fry or mixed greens with mangoes and white beans. Check out our recipe database for inspiration.