When university professor Alice Howland (played by Julianne Moore), starts forgetting things in the movie Still Alice, she knows something isn’t right.

She stops mid-sentence during a lecture. She gets disoriented on a familiar run. She struggles to remember simple details.

And then she gets the news…Alzheimer’s disease.

An estimated 6.5 million people in the U.S. are living with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.1 It’s a brain disease that damages thought, memory and learning. And there is no cure.

Feast on plant-based foods to protect your brain

But it’s not all bad news. A recent study found that eating more plant-based foods may lower the risk for dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and age-related memory loss.2

“A higher intake of fruits, vegetables, and plant-based foods…could help reduce the risk of cognitive decline due to aging,” says the study’s co-author Dr. Cristina Andrés-Lacueva.

Researchers found that chemical properties in certain plant-based foods may help protect the brain from age-related memory loss. These include:

    • Cocoa
    • Coffee
    • Mushrooms
    • Red wine
    • Apples
    • Green tea
    • Blueberries
    • Oranges
    • Pomegranates

But even other plant-based foods, like fruit, leafy greens, and legumes, provide protective benefits to the brain and body.

In contrast, researchers found that artificial sweeteners may increase the risk for age-related memory loss and dementia.

If you want to keep your brain healthy as you get older, now is always the best time to start.

Sources

1. Alzheimer’s Association. (2022). 2022 Alzheimer’s disease facts and figures. Alzheimer’s & Dementia, 18(4): 700-789. From: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35289055/

2. Gonzalez, Dominguez, R., et al. (2021). Food and microbiota metabolites associate with cognitive decline in older subjects: A 12-year prospective study. Molecular Nutrition & Food Research, 65(23). From: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/mnfr.202100606

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