Alzheimer’s is becoming a big problem within the aging population, and it’s said that one out of every three senior citizens are affected by Alzheimer’s or dementia. Too many people don’t worry about their brain health until they are approaching old age, and by then it may be too late.

The effects of Alzheimer’s range from memory loss to complete mental decline, and there is currently no cure. It is a devastating disease, and it’s a common mistake to assume that it only affects the elderly.

However, there may be some hope that you can reduce your risk of getting Alzheimer’s by incorporating these foods into your diet. They help to preserve brain function, but several of them contain other health benefits too.

1. Berries

raspberry

Berries are rich in anthocyanin, especially blueberries and strawberries. This substance works to protect the brain from damaging free radicals, which can build up in the brain and could cause memory loss and cognitive decline.

2. Champagne

If you love bubbly, here’s a good reason to keep drinking it. One 2013 study linked drinking three glasses of Champagne a day to an increase in phenolic compounds. These compounds help the brain with memory storage and learning. Unfortunately, only certain types of champagne contain these compounds.

3. Coffee

Yes, caffeine can raise your blood pressure, but it could help ward off Alzheimer’s. A study conducted by the University of South Florida found that people over 65 who drank coffee didn’t develop Alzheimer’s disease for another two to four years after participants who didn’t drink any coffee.

4. Dark Chocolate

This rich, bitter treat contains flavonoids (unlike its milk chocolate cousin), which have been shown to slow the effects of dementia. One study showed that those who ate large amounts of dark chocolate showed higher levels of cognitive function than those who didn’t. Adding a square or two after a meal could help your brain and satisfy chocolate cravings.

5. Green Tea

Green tea has been linked to a decrease in the speed of aging and an increase in alertness. It’s a healthy alternative to coffee, although it does still contain caffeine, and can help you keep your blood pressure in a healthy range.

6. Kelp

Kelp might sound unappealing, but it is rich in carotenoids, flavonoids and alkaloids, which help combat free radicals in the brain. Several studies have also linked kelp to a lowered cancer risk, so you have nothing to lose by trying it. You can add it to smoothies if you don’t like the idea of eating it.

7. Multivitamins

There has been plenty of debate about how effective multivitamins actually are, but the Alzheimer’s Research and Prevention Foundation says that you should be taking a high-potency multivitamin and mineral capsule daily.

8. Olive Oil

olive-oil

The Mediterranean diet classic can help preserve memory and cognitive function by assisting the brain to remove debris and toxins, which prevents cell damage.

9. Oysters

oysters

Zinc is a fairly uncommon mineral that is found in oysters. This mineral helps to fend off degenerative dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Zinc is also linked with other health benefits, such as cancer prevention and immune system boosting. Other shellfish contain zinc, but oysters are the ones that have the highest amount.

10. Salmon

Beta-amyloid is a protein associated with Alzheimer’s, and the omega-3 oils in salmon have been found to lower the amount of beta-amyloid in the bloodstream.

11. Soy

Soy is full of vitamin B-12, which keeps your red blood cells healthy and is also the principal vitamin for aiding the nervous system. The better shape your nervous system is in, the less likely you are to have brain damage and degeneration.

Red meat has been linked to early-onset Alzheimer’s so soy-based protein provides a good alternative.

12. Spinach

Spinach is full of fiber, vitamin C and antioxidants, which have all been linked to a decrease in the prevalence of Alzheimer’s. Spinach can also help lower cholesterol too.

13. Turmeric

The vibrant orange spice has several health benefits, and one study showed that the curcumin in turmeric could help prevent Alzheimer’s. Turmeric is most commonly used in Indian cooking, but you can use it in sweet recipes, or sprinkle it over roasted vegetables.

14. Fruits and Vegetables

Fruits and vegetables have long been proven to be the best way to get your vitamins and minerals. Not only that, but they are full of fiber and antioxidants as well as helping keep your weight down. You should eat as many colors of fruit and veg as you can to maximize the benefits.

15. Water

Yes, humble water is one of the most important parts of our diet. It’s great for your brain because it helps to flush the toxins out, preventing a buildup of toxins in your nervous system, which can cause memory loss and cognitive decline.