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‘I’m a Neurologist, and This Is My Go-To Dinner For Alzheimer’s Prevention’

Neurologist prepares dinner for Alzheimer’s prevention

Nearly 7 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease, according to a 2024 report from the Alzheimer’s Association.

Diet is usually part of first-line advice to reduce the risk of developing other diseases, such as heart disease, many cancers and type 2 diabetes.

However, in the case of Alzheimer’s disease, the link between diet and risk is less known and more data are needed. “The causes of Alzheimer’s disease are multifactorial, complex and still poorly understood,” explains Dr. Jonathan J. Rasouli, MD, the Director of Complex and Adult Spinal Deformity Surgery in the Department of Neurological Surgery at Staten Island University Hospital.

However, Dr. Rasouli says some research indicates a link between the development and prevention of dementia (Alzheimer’s disease is a form of dementia).

“Therefore, it is a good idea to understand how diet, diet and exercise may play a role in our risk of diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s,” adds Dr. Rasouli . “If we can potentially reduce our risk of Alzheimer’s disease by eating certain foods, then why not? It seems like a risk worth taking.”

OK, so the next question is: what’s for dinner? Dr. Rasouli shared what he eats for dinner to prevent Alzheimer’s disease (or at least reduce its risk).

Related: “I’ve spent 40 years studying the brain, and this is the #1 habit I recommend for memory retention”

A Neurologist’s Must-Have Dinner for Reducing Alzheimer’s Risk

When in doubt, Dr. Rasouli prepares grilled salmon with turmeric seasoning and a side of steamed broccoli.

“While there is no conclusive link between eating certain foods and preventing Alzheimer’s disease, I like foods that contain healthy omega fatty acids and phytonutrients and are low in carbohydrates , in processed sugars and fats,” explains Dr. Rasouli.

A large 2023 meta-analysis of studies involving more than 103,000 participants highlighted “moderate-to-high-level evidence” that consuming omega-3 fatty acids may reduce risks of all-cause dementia and decline. cognitive by about 20%.

Turmeric counts curcumin as its main active ingredient. A 2019 review of animal studies indicated that curcumin may help moderate or reverse memory impairment in rodents.

As for broccoli, a growing body of research has shown that vegetables like broccoli are a *chef’s kiss* for the brain, including a 2017 meta-analysis and a 2022 study of adults in Japan.

As great as all of these nutrients are, you’ll want to make sure your dish stays on that “healthy” side.

“The meal is quite healthy on its own, but it’s generally a good idea to be careful about the intake of carbohydrates, sugar and salt, as these can contribute to insulin resistance and poor health “, explains Dr. Rasouli.

So avoid sprinkling tons of salt on your salmon (the turmeric should add some flavor) or serving it with a healthy dose of high-carb, high-sugar side dishes.

That said, Dr. Rasouli likes this dinner idea for more than just its nutrition. “It’s delicious and I never get tired of it,” he shares. “It’s very easy to prepare and doesn’t require too many ingredients.”

In other words, even busy types can probably enjoy grilled salmon seasoned with turmeric and steamed broccoli.

Related: “I’m a cardiologist and this is the type of fish I eat at least once a week for heart health”

General Ways to Eat Well for Better Brain Health

Whether salmon is your jam or not, Dr. Rasouli says following a few general basics and avoiding some pitfalls can help you make a better, brain-healthy dinner.

“Any dinner low in processed ingredients, sugars and unhealthy fats would be a good dinner not only for Alzheimer’s prevention but also for your overall health,” he explains. “I like to avoid red meats, processed meats like sausages and anything high in sugar. These have been shown to contribute to insulin resistance, which is a risk factor for dementia. “

A 2022 study of more than 37,000 people linked higher sugar consumption to a greater risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease in older women. A review published in 2023 in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease found that eating meat, particularly red and processed meat, and ultra-processed foods was a risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease.

On the other hand, green vegetables and omega 3s are hallmarks of the Mediterranean and DASH diets, the latter emphasizing low-sodium foods. Neither diet likes processed foods and red meats. A study published in Neurology found fewer signs of Alzheimer’s in autopsies of adults who consumed these diets.

Next: 7 Things That Happen to Your Body When You Don’t Eat Enough Vegetables

Sources

  • Facts and figures about Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s Association

  • Dr. Jonathan J. Rasouli, MD, Director of Complex and Adult Spinal Deformity Surgery in the Department of Neurological Surgery at Staten Island University Hospital

  • The relationship between omega-3 fatty acids and dementia and cognitive decline: evidence from prospective cohort studies of supplementation, dietary intake and blood markers. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

  • Effect of curcumin on memory disorders: a systematic review. Phytomedicine.

  • Increased fruit and vegetable consumption is linked to reduced risk of cognitive impairment and dementia: meta-analysis. Frontiers in the neuroscience of aging.

  • Long-term association between vegetable and fruit consumption and risk of dementia among Japanese elderly people: the Hisayama study. BMC.

  • Dietary sugar intake and risk of Alzheimer’s disease in older women. Nutritional neuroscience.

  • The role of diet in modifying Alzheimer’s disease risk: history and current understanding. Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease

  • Mediterranean Intervention Association-DASH for Neurodegenerative Delay and Mediterranean Diets with Alzheimer’s Disease Pathology. Neurology

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