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5 Recipes that Can Help Fight Dementia

August 4, 2021

We already know what we eat can affect our weight. Can what we eat also affect our brains? And if so, can eating or avoiding certain foods prevent or delay Alzheimer’s or other age-related cognitive decline? Is food the key in how to prevent Alzheimer’s and dementia, naturally?

A basket full of delicious vegetables

We already know what we eat can affect our weight. Can what we eat also affect our brains? And if so, can eating or avoiding certain foods prevent or delay Alzheimer’s or other age-related cognitive decline? Is food the key in how to prevent Alzheimer’s and dementia, naturally?

Foods to prevent Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia

Recent research suggests that certain lifestyle changes, like increasing your regular physical activity, lowering your blood pressure, and engaging in cognitive training can contribute toward naturally preventing or delaying Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. However, so much of the research is what’s considered “encouraging but not conclusive.”

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t exercise more, lower your blood pressure, keep your brain stimulated and eat a healthy diet. We know these things contribute to healthier aging overall and may contribute toward preventing dementia naturally.

The Alzheimer’s Association has suggested two types of diets: the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) Diet and the Mediterranean Diet; both may be able to reduce the risk of dementia.

There are also five essential nutrients to incorporate into your diet that can help protect brain cells and lower your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease/dementia:

  1. Omega-3 fatty acids
  2. Antioxidants
  3. Fiber
  4. Choline
  5. Vitamin K

Again, foods with these nutrients aren’t necessarily proven to prevent Alzheimer’s/dementia. However, if you’re looking for an Alzheimer’s diet that offers you many other benefits, these nutrients are a great place to start.

The anti-Alzheimer’s diet

Here are five recipes you can incorporate into your diet now to get more of each of these five essential nutrients.

  1. For omega-3 fatty acids, try slow-roasted salmon with fennel, citrus and chiles. Recipe here.

Salmon, cod, halibut and other types of fish are high in omega-3 fatty acids. For this recipe, you can use any of these types of fish.

  1. For more antioxidants in your diet, make antioxidant-rich roasted veggies. Recipe here.

 

  1. Add more fiber to your life by whipping up high-fiber chocolate bites. Recipe here.

 

  1. Crack into more choline with this mushroom, spinach and feta omelet. Recipe here.

Eggs are high in choline and are so versatile, no matter how you eat them.

 

  1. K is for kale, so prepare this vitamin K-rich kale salad with homemade dressing. Recipe here.

Kale, spinach, swiss chard, collard greens and other leafy green vegetables are very high in Vitamin K. You can make this salad with as many or as few additional veggies as you like. If you prefer, substitute balsamic vinegar for distilled vinegar in the dressing.

 

Cooking with someone with dementia

If your loved one has always enjoyed cooking, try encouraging them to continue with their passion by cooking with them. Experts say the smells of ingredients and of food baking or cooking can trigger memories; food scents can also stimulate appetite and conversation. Whether your loved one lives with you at home or at a memory care community, the warmth and familiarity of meals can bring immense comfort to both of you.

The trick is to select simple recipes, such as recipes that only require assembly instead of lots of preparation. Don’t be afraid to modify the recipe as necessary, and always be sure to build in safety. Use blunt utensils, monitor heat sources and be aware of swallowing difficulties, which can be one of the symptoms of dementia.

Here are two great recipes to try together. Best yet, you can easily incorporate both recipes into a meal plan for someone with Alzheimer’s.

A delicious and easy 4-ingredient sorbet. Recipe here.

If you’d like to make something as a fun activity with your loved one, try this 4-ingredient fruit sorbet. You can use any fruit you have on hand, whether it’s fresh or frozen — from berries to melons and peaches to pineapple chunks — and there’s no churning necessary.

 

Just top, heat and eat this personal pizza pie. Recipe here.

This recipe is ideal as a recipe that only requires assembling ingredients. You and your loved one can choose your favorite crust and toppings together, then simply bake and eat!

 

Memory care is available for your loved one

At Episcopal SeniorLife Communities, our memory care programs offer a safe environment with structured, engaging programming and personalized care plans. Our specially trained staff sees each resident as a unique person and focuses on keeping residents active and engaged in activities the resident would personally enjoy.

 

Learn more about our memory care communities at Ashley Woods in Penfield, N.Y., and Seabury Woods in Rochester, N.Y. Or contact us today at 585-546-8400 to learn more about all our senior living options.

 

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