Annette from Miami, Florida writes:

My mother has recently been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. The doctors say it is early. What can she do each day to help with this? Can she do anything with her lifestyle?

Dear Annette,

Alzheimer’s can be a very sad and scary diagnosis for everyone involved. We are learning more in the nutrition world about what foods directly affect the brain than ever before. It is not just genetics that happens to us. It is our choices every day that determines what type of health we are going to have tomorrow. This is especially true with our brain. The brain's cells can become rigid as we age. This can cause issues like our memory to not stay as sharp. There have been numerous studies that show that the foods that we eat every day directly impacts how well our brain will eventually function. Lets look at some brain healthy foods to help support her memory and her general health overall. Remember, there is always hope for better health. Never say never. The body has an amazing ability to recover and do well. 

Omega 3 fatty acids are the rock stars of brain health. Wild salmon is probably the best for your brain overall. Other fish such as sardines and anchovies have tremendous benefit as well. The omega 3 fats are amazing support for your memory and empowering your health. 

These are one of my favorites. Lentils are loaded with B vitamins, which are essential for the brain. These are easy to add to any meal and are great for fiber as well.

Antioxidants are a real key in supporting the brain. Blueberries are loaded with these antioxidants that help to clean out the brain and keep it working in tip -op shape. Free radicals can cause damage when in abundance and the blueberries contain components to help rid the body of these to help better support memory. 

4.Coconut Oil
Known as a saturated fat, coconut oil has some strong properties for the brain. If actually breaks down in the body like a carbohydrate called a MCT, or medium chain triglyceride. The saturated fat in coconut oil is needed to help the omega 3 fats absorb and function better. Look at using some of this special oil to cook with or add to your smoothies. 

Beets have been known for great digestive properties. They help with elimination, constipation, and digestive distress. Now we are learning that the nitric oxide found in beets are great for improving memory and adding oxygen into the cells. They are loaded with folic acid and have been shown in certain studies to delay dementia as we age.  

Full of folic acid and vitamin C, cauliflower has been shown to support against the cognitive decline from aging and help to prevent against Alzheimer’s. 

Walnuts may be thought of as one of the superior nuts. They are the nuts with the highest amount of omega 3 fats. Walnuts have been shown in research to improve learning and memory. Just 1-2 oz. a day can improve overall function and cause your brain to be protected from the challenges that come with the aging process.