CHENNAI: Skipping your meal to adjust to a busy work schedule, being stressed over irrelevant things and losing sleep over a million thoughts have become common in most of our routines. Due to this, we tend to forget small yet important details in our daily life.
Over time, these small things that we forget make our brain deliberately forget important information, which could lead to Alzheimer’s. “Alzheimer’s disease is a degenerative neurological disorder that causes a few cells in a particular part of the brain to automatically get destroyed. It happens, predominantly, because of a deposition of a waste product.
These waste products happen to everybody as we age, but in Alzheimer’s disease, they are in excess and thereby they cause accelerated loss of neurons,” says Dr Venkatraman Karthikeyan, consultant neurologist, Gleneagles, Global Health City, Perumbakkam and Dr Venkat’s Neuro Center, Anna Nagar. This World Alzheimer’s Day, with inputs from Dr Venkatraman, here is a curated list of the important brain foods to prevent Alzheimer’s.
Broccoli, cucumber, cabbage, carrots, eggplant, spinach, onion, and garlic
Expert opinion: “Both fruits and vegetables are advised to be eaten raw. Vegetables organically grown, straight from the garden are preferred. Avoid cooking food with any preservatives.”
Oats, barley, quinoa, brown rice
Expert opinion: “Whole grains can provide a lot of vitamin E. It is better to eat those whole grains and cereals that can be digested easily.”
Foods to avoid
Carbonated drinks, high calorie processed foods, instant foods, and maida
Expert opinion: “Bingeing on high calorie sweeteners or carbonated drinks and alcohol should be avoided. Alzheimer’s can also exist with a condition called vascular dementia. This causes small blood flow obstruction to the brain; this can happen due to our poor food choices.”
Mango, papaya, mosambi, oranges, peaches, pomegranates and dry fruits
Expert opinion: “Anything that is locally grown and is rich in vitamin C and vitamin D is preferred. Dry fruits are in no way superior or inferior to any other fruits mentioned.”
Milk, yogurt, and low-fat cheeses
Expert opinion: “Try to consume organic milk products rather than processed ones. These products are also rich in calcium which regulates several neurological functions.”
Salmon, tuna, sardines, shrimp, lobster
Expert opinion: “Fish is a rich source of both vitamin D and the omega fatty acids. It also has antioxidants. Any food rich in antioxidants will help in preventing the process of excess waste products getting deposited in the brain.”
Tips for brain health
Don’t skip breakfast. If you are in a hurry, make a simple meal like khichdi, rich in all the nutrients to give your body all the essentials.
Red wine and dark chocolate can be consumed in appropriate amounts as they have good benefits for brain health.
Sleep for at least seven hours daily so that the brain gets time to eliminate waste products which prevents it from getting accumulated.