Medical researchers are still searching for the cause, and a cure, for Alzheimer’s and other causes of dementia. There is no certain way to avoid it, however, scientists have found correlations between certain diets and decreased likelihood of neurocognitive decline. Two particular diets — the Mediterranean Diet and the MIND Diet, which are meant to specifically slow down neurodegeneration — are known to be helpful for their emphasis on these four key foods.
Green leafy vegetables
One study in Israel examined 200 individuals on three different diet plans. They found that after 18 months those that had stuck to a very green and leafy Mediterranean diet with lots of green tea, walnuts, and Mankai (a nutrient-rich plant) had the slowest rate of age-related brain atrophy. Those with a normal Mediterranean diet were close behind, and those with an average healthy diet were last. The rates of decline were particularly pronounced in individuals over 50.
Vibrant and colorful fruits and vegetables
Colorful vegetables do more than just brighten up your salads. These have been shown to slow the rate of cognitive decline for the antioxidants found in fruits like blueberries and flavonoids found in colorful vegetables, wine, and chocolate. A 2021 observational study looked at 77,000 people over 20 years and found that those who had a higher flavonoid intake had a slower cognitive decline.
You may have heard promises of fish oil pills preventing Alzheimer’s. While this cannot be proven, there is a strong correlation between the omega-3 fatty acids, found particularly in fatty fish, and strong brain health and a reduced rate of age-related cognitive decline.
Nuts have been linked to good brain health repeatedly, especially walnuts. One 2021 review examined 22 different studies looking at a combined 44,000 people who were at high risk of cognitive decline and had particularly better results when they had regular helpings of nuts throughout their week.