Alzheimer's Disease and dementia are devastating diseases. Many of us have been directly affected by Alzheimer's disease or by dementia in our immediate families; It's a long road for everyone involved, but especially for the victim while they're still "with it" enough to know they're slipping and losing their cognitive ability and their independence.
It's our generation, the baby boomer generation, that is most at risk. You need to know what to "feed your head", but what kind of food should you eat to keep your brain healthy?
Much of eating right is knowing what you shouldn't eat. Sugar, simple carbohydrates and trans fats are at the top of the "don't eat it" list. This means you should wean yourself off all fast food and everything that is beige as soon as possible!
Clean out your pantry and your refrigerator! Everything in a box goes. You need to become a label reader. Everything with preservatives gets tossed out, too. BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole) and BHT (butylated hydrozyttoluene) as well as nitrates and nitrites are common preservatives. Read labels; spot them; then don't eat them!
You need to be mindful of marketing ploys as well; we can all be lulled into a false sense that you're making good, healthy eating decisions for yourself and your family based on the current health fad. For example, "gluten-free" has become a popular health buzz phrase of our time, but be mindful that just because something is gluten-free doesn't mean it's sugar-free or trans fat-free. Eating right is so simple it often seems complicated.
Go for color! Choosing fresh fruits and vegetables that are colorful is an easy way to choose food high in phytonutrients. Phytonutrients are compounds found in fruits and vegetables that actually protect those plants. Phytonutrients, when consumed, are believed to help us protect ourselves from diseases like heart disease and cancer.
Learn to eat healthy fats. Did you know your brain consists of approximately 60 percent fat? Contrary to the "wisdom" of the past, we now know it's important to consume fat, but it needs to be healthy fat. Avoid low-fat and fat-free products; Instead, eat food with healthy fats like avocados and nuts and cook with olive oil rather than an oil like canola oil.
Learn to eat a healthy vibrant diet now that is rich in phytonutrients and healthy fat; When you're in your 80s and still recognize your family members, you'll be glad you did!