Studies have shown that while some foods boost memory, others actually increase risks for Alzheimer’s disease. These same foods are linked to other serious health problems, making it that much more important to limit or remove them from a senior’s diet.
A healthy diet does more than benefit our waistlines. It improves our heart health, lowers our risk for cancer, diabetes, and other diseases, and keeps our minds healthy. In fact, research has shown that a poor diet impacts memory and increases a person’s chances of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
Why Some Foods Induce Memory Loss
The brain needs its own brand of fuel. It requires healthy fats, fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and adequate vitamins and minerals. Consuming too little of these foods and too many complex carbohydrates, processed foods and sugar stimulates the production of toxins in the body. Those toxins can lead to inflammation, the build-up of plaques in the brain and, as a result, impaired cognitive function.
These effects apply to people of all ages, not just seniors.
Foods That Induce Memory Loss
Unfortunately, the foods that hamper memory are common staples in the American diet. White breads, pasta, processed meats and cheeses, all of these have been linked to Alzheimer’s disease. Some experts have even found that whole grain breads are as bad as white breads because they spike blood sugar, which causes inflammation.
Here’s a list of foods linked to increased rates of Alzheimer’s disease:
Processed cheeses, including American cheese, mozzarella sticks, Cheez Whiz and Laughing Cow. These foods build up proteins in the body that have been associated with Alzheimer’s.
Processed meats, such as bacon, smoked turkey from the deli counter and ham. Smoked meats like these contain nitrosamines, which cause the liver to produce fats that are toxic to the brain.
Beer. Most beers contain nitrites, which have been linked to Alzheimer’s.
White foods, including pasta, cakes, white sugar, white rice and white bread. Consuming these causes a spike in insulin production and sends toxins to the brain.
Microwave popcorn contains diacetyl, a chemical that may increase amyloid plaques in the brain. Research has linked a buildup of amyloid plaques to Alzheimer’s disease.
Healthy Foods That Boost Memory
Changing dietary habits is never easy. However, avoiding foods that induce memory loss and eating more of the foods that boost memory improves your chances of enjoying all-around health.
Here’s the list of foods that help boost memory for seniors and the rest of us:
Leafy green vegetables
Salmon and other cold-water fish
Berries and dark-skinned fruits
Coffee and chocolate
Extra virgin olive oil
Cold-pressed virgin coconut oil