Boost your brain

On World Alzheimer’s Day, Dr Venkatraman Karthikeyan enlists a dietary chart that can keep your brain healthy
express Illustration
express Illustration

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.”

Whole grains

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 products

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.”

Sea food

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.

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The New Indian Express