These days, it is difficult to find one area of the body that is not positively impacted by a healthy diet. Research shows that the brain is no exception.
In a big boost to the case for a vegetarian diet, the Alzheimer’s Association is promoting a “brain-healthy diet”. They report that a high intake of saturated fat and cholesterol clogs the arteries and is associated with higher risk for Alzheimer’s disease. Those who study nutrition know that there is also “good cholesterol”, and it is no surprise that good cholesterol found in oils such as olive, canola, flaxseed, safflower and sunflower actually protect your brain. Tactics as simple as baking your food rather than frying it, will go a long way toward reducing unwanted saturated fat in your body.
In addition to reducing the risk of heart disease (which is the number one leading cause of death in America), research shows that certain foods actually protect your brain cells. In general, dark-skinned fruits and vegetables have the highest levels of naturally occurring antioxidants which help protect your brain. These include: kale, spinach, brussels sprouts, broccoli, beets, prunes, raisins, blueberries, blackberries and plums. The Association also recommends almonds, pecans and walnuts as another good source of antioxidants.
There is growing evidence that Alzheimer’s disease is linked to saturated fat and toxins found in meat and dairy products. Even Duke Unveristy’s Health News suggested that research is showing that vegetarians are at a lower risk of developing dementia than non-vegetarians.
There has never been a better time to try moving to a vegetarian diet. If you are still on the fence, go for it! Your body will thank you.