By Hayley Hobson • Originally published on Mind Body Green
When I was 14 years old, my grandfather died of Alzheimer’s disease. I remember the years leading up to his death and how quickly his mind wore away.
I’d accompany my father to the hospital and be shocked to watch my grandfather drinking imaginary tea from an imaginary tea cup, talking to himself, and not recognizing his son at all.
I don’t have many memories from my childhood but these are definitely some of the worst.
I watch my 3 year-old whose memory is utterly fantastic, not clouded at all by all of the toxins and pollutants that have begun to fog my own brain. And as I watch her, I cannot imagine not knowing who she is 30 or 40 years from now.
Alzheimer’s and dementia are some of the scariest and most emotionally-triggering degenerative diseases. But they are easier to prevent than previously thought.
If you have a family history of one of these diseases or are worried about what they may do to you as you age, one of the first things you can do is modify your diet.
Here are 10 foods you should add into your diet that can help improve your mind:
- Leafy greens. Some ideas: kale, spinach, collard and mustard greens. These foods are high in folate and B9, which improve cognition and reduce depression.
- Cruciferous vegetables. Broccoli, cauliflower, bok choy, brussels sprouts and kale contain folate and have carotenoids that lower homo-cysteine (an amino acid linked with cognitive impairment).
- Beans and legumes. These foods contain more folate, iron, magnesium and potassium that can help with general body function and neuron firing. They also contain choline, a B vitamin that boosts acetylcholine (a neurotransmitter critical for brain function).