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20 foods to eat to beat dementia – and the ones to avoid

There’s a fear that haunts us all: will we, or someone we love, one day develop Alzheimer’s disease?

But what if we told you that you could sharpen up your mental capacity straight away? And that you could significantly reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s and even reverse any early symptoms of forgetfulness or confusion?

And what if, better still, we told you that after following our steps, you may not need to take a drug or worry about harmful side-effects? (Though if you are taking prescribed medication, you should continue to take it and follow your GP’s advice.)

This might seem too good to be true, but working together as a husband and wife team, we have spent the past 20 years on a mission to find a cure for Alzheimer’s, and we are now convinced that 90 per cent of cases can be prevented.

For the remaining 10 per cent with a strong genetic risk, we believe the disease can be delayed by as much as 15 years.

The answer lies in making a few simple changes to your lifestyle.

For the past 15 years, we have been analysing decades of research into the connections between lifestyle and chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes and cancer, hoping to find insights into any risk factors that might also play a role in Alzheimer’s.

Buoyed by our findings, we have been carrying out further tests on patients who are at risk of developing and in the early stages of dementia. The results have been astonishing.

Our findings have formed the basis of our life-changing new book, The Alzheimer’s Solution, which is being serialised all this week in the Daily Mail.

At the heart of our message is the fact that brain health is influenced by five main lifestyle factors: nutrition, exercise, managing stress, restorative sleep and “brain training”.

The key lies in taking responsibility for your health and creating a personalised plan of action that encompasses healthy changes in diet, exercise, stress levels, sleep and activities to keep your brain challenged.

Personalisation is the foundation of the plan because your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, dementia and cognitive decline is as individual as your fingerprint and life experience.

WHY WHAT YOU EAT IS SO IMPORTANT

Though the brain is very small and comprises only 2 per cent of the body by weight, it is incredibly greedy and uses up to 25 per cent of the body’s energy.

This means our brains are especially affected by the balance of goodness and toxins in the food we eat.

All the studies show that years of poor nutrition will damage your brain – in fact, many experts believe that Alzheimer’s is essentially a rubbish-disposal problem characterised by the brain’s inability to cope with what we feed it over a lifetime.

But no matter how many takeaways, kebabs, or burgers you have eaten in the past, and how many packets of crisps or tubs of ice cream you have quietly scoffed in the evenings, we are convinced the right changes to your diet now can have a swift impact on your brain health.

So many of our patients have been trying to find a solution to Alzheimer’s through vitamins; they spend a small fortune on brain-training games, join elaborate exercise programmes or consult with neurologists, when the solution is in their fridge.

Scientific studies have shown that certain foods raise the risk of heart disease, cancers and stroke and others reduce that risk. Crucially, we have found that what is good for the heart and kidneys also appears to be beneficial for the brain.

Through our clinical trials we can now offer a clear, science-based approach to brain-healthy eating that has helped our patients prevent and reverse the debilitating symptoms of cognitive decline.

It has become quite clear that our very typical Western diet of salty, sugary, fatty processed food puts us at risk of obesity and diabetes, both of which hugely increase our risk of dementia.

Studies show obesity in mid-life increases dementia risk by as much as 40 per cent, and poor blood-sugar control in the elderly accounts for as much as 39 per cent of Alzheimer’s cases.

Again and again, wholefood, plant-based meals come up as the best dietary pattern for fighting chronic disease and protecting the brain against decline.

Our studies show a plant-based diet is enough to reduce your risk of cognitive impairment by 28 per cent.

We urge our dementia patients to add as many vegetables and fruit of all kinds as they can to every meal, and to try to cut back on all forms of meat.

You can try the delicious brain-boosting recipes you’ll find in these articles every day this week.

GOOD BRAIN FOOD

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