Dementia and Alzheimer’s are two of the most devastating degenerative illnesses today. However, research indicates that they are easily preventable. If a member of the family suffered from it, other family members can prevent acquiring this health problem through diet modification.

There are certain food items that can be incorporated into the daily diet to help enhance brain-functioning, such as:

1. Green, leafy vegetables such as mustard leaves, spinach, kale and collard.
These vegetables have a high folate (folic acid) content which can help decrease depression and improve cognitive functions.

2. Vegetables of the cruciferous family such as cauliflower, broccoli, brussels sprouts and bok choy.
All of these vegetables have folate and carotene which help decrease the levels of amino acids associated with impaired cognition.

3. Legumes and beans which have magnesium, iron, folate and potassium.
These components help maintain the functioning of the body’s systems and action potential in the cells of the brain. They also have choline, which increases the action of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine (ACh) in the brain.

4. Cherries and berries have anthocyanin, which helps in protecting the brain from more harm caused by unstable molecules known as free radicals.
At the same time, polyphenols are found in blueberries, which are great in preventing the build-up of pathogenic proteins that are found prevalent among people with brain diseases. These fruit are antioxidants and are anti-inflammatory and also contain high amounts of vitamins C and E.

5. Whole grains like kammut, quinoa, and gluten-free oats are complex carbohydrates that are rich in fibre and B vitamins.
Carbohydrates are converted into glucose, which is the major energy source of the brain.

6. Omega-3 fatty acids are great brain boosters
A report has indicated that there is 26 percent less risk of developing lesions in the brain that cause brain disease among individuals who consume food which is high in omega-3 fatty acids on a daily basis. Omega-3 can be obtained through the consumption of fish, olive oil, and flaxseed.

7. Unsalted pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds have healthy fats including vitamin E, choline and zinc, which are useful in maintaining cognitive health

8. Squash, pumpkin, asparagus, carrots, beets and tomatoes should not be overcooked
All of these vegetables contain vitamins and minerals such as folate, iron and vitamin A, which are all useful for brain wellness and boosting brain function.

9. Sage, cinnamon, turmeric and cumin
These spices help to break down plaque build-up in the brain. Sage has strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Curcumin, which provides the yellowish colour of turmeric, is a potent anti-oxidising enzyme. Cinnamon is known to enhance cognition and regulate sugar levels in the blood, but it also contains manganese and has antimicrobial properties. Cumin is rich in phosphatidylethanolamine, which facilitates regeneration of brain cells.

10. Almonds, walnuts, cashews, hazelnuts, pecans and peanuts all contain pyridoxine (a B vitamin), folate, magnesium and omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids that help to boost brain-functioning.

Other health issues that affect the brain unfavourably and need to be prevented include heart ailments, obesity, diabetes mellitus and high blood pressure. In addition, to maintain a healthy body and sound mind, people should steer clear of environmental pathogens, excessive stress, sugar, caffeine, illicit substances, excessive alcohol drinking and cigarette smoking.

Healthy decisions take account of being responsible for your own health and wellbeing, socialising with encouraging peer groups, creating an environment free of toxins, engaging in regular exercise and weight maintenance, sleeping for eight hours, properly managing stress and expressing gratitude on a regular basis..