Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive neurologic disorder that causes the brain to shrink and the brain cells to die. More than 5.8 million people aged 65 and older in the United States are living with the disease. Alzheimer’s is also the most common cause of dementia, a continuous decline in thinking, social skills and behavioral skills.

Scientists believe that Alzheimer’s disease is caused by a combination of genetic, lifestyle and environmental factors. Specifically, research has shown that the same risk factors associated with heart disease can also increase the risk for Alzheimer’s. These factors include diet, exercise and obesity.

Knowing this information, it’s never too late to start eating a healthy diet. It can lower your risk for heart disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer and cognitive decline. Here are three foods that won’t just keep your diet healthy but also fight Alzheimer’s.

1. Poultry

Poultry refers to birds raised for meat, eggs and feathers. Chicken is what most people think of when they hear poultry, but this category also includes ducks and turkey. One study from Finland found that consuming eggs and chicken can protect the brain as we move into old age, reducing the risk for Alzheimer’s disease.

When preparing meals, make sure to choose a high quality piece of chicken. Chicken breasts are lean and an excellent source of protein, vitamin B, vitamin D, calcium, iron and zinc. Also, choose healthy preparation methods such as grilling, smoking or baking. If you don’t like plain chicken, try adding it to salads, soups or stews instead.

2. Leafy Greens

Dark leafy greens are linked to slower-related cognitive decline, according to a report in the journal of Neurology. The report focused on spinach, kale, collards and lettuce, which are believed to have protective factors against cognitive decline. It’s believed that phylloquinone, lutein and folate are the sources responsible.

While leafy greens might not be the most exciting things to put on your plate, they are part of a healthy diet. Including them in your sandwiches, soups and pastas can help fight heart disease, obesity, high blood pressure and mental decline.

3. Berries

Berries - strawberries, blackberries, raspberries - also protect against Alzehimer’s disease, according to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. In the study, those who ate lots of flavonoids from berries and other fruits had a 40 percent lesser chance of developing dementia.

Flavonoids have anti-inflammatory effects and protect the cells from oxidative damage that can lead to disease. Aside from reducing the risk for Alzehimer’s, flavonoids also prevent cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer. Eat berries plain or add them to your favorite dishes like salads, yogurt and oatmeal.

By incorporating these three foods into your diet, you can keep yourself healthy and prevent cognitive decline.

© La Rosa Chicken and Grill. All Rights Reserved