Protect the Memories: Don’t Sleep on Symptoms is a unique series focused on early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease.
It took many by surprise when the beloved chef B. Smith died of Alzheimer’s disease back in 2020. She gifted us with traditional and original meals but had a personal struggle with memory loss.
Studies show that certain foods can reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s disease. But how do you know what to invite into your diet when there are so many options?
Marisa Moore is a registered dietitian based in Atlanta. She shares quick recipes on her Instagram, many of which include brain boosting foods like kale, spinach, cabbage, and arugula. These and other leafy green vegetables are proven to boost brain health. It’s because they’re full of antioxidants, which help cells defend themselves. Broccoli, cauliflower, and brussels sprouts are good for your brain because they’re rich in fiber, vitamins, minerals, and anti-inflammatory properties. Keeping inflammation down is a good way to ward off against memory loss.
Omega 3s are proven to boost memory, too. The Detroit-based chef Angela Davis incorporates salmon, sardines, tuna, cod, and other fish with omega-3 fatty acids in her social media recipes. If you’re allergic to fish, you can get your fatty acids in flaxseeds, chia seeds, and walnuts, as well as plant oils.
There are some diets designed specifically to fight memory loss and reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s Disease. The MIND diet is one of them. It stands for Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay. It’s based on a Mediterranean diet and encourages:
- Olive oil
- Whole grains
Of course, every brain and body is different. If you’d like to understand more about what works well for your system, then create a food journal. Take note of what foods you are eating on a daily basis. Consult with a dietitian about your specific needs. (Eat an avocado or have some berries before you make your appointment!)
Looking for a few recipes to get you started down a healthy path? Check out the easy options below from Greg LaFortune of Greg’s Optimized Nutrition.
Crunchy Kale Salad
Yield: Approximately 8-10 cups of salad
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa (2 cups cooked)
- 16 oz. bag of kale 1 small cucumber
- 5-10 oz. grape or cherry tomatoes
- feta cheese-optional 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 fresh lemons (juice)
- 1 tablespoon white or red wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- Onion powder
- garlic powder
- salt and ground pepper
- Follow instructions on package to cook quinoa. Let cool.
- Separate leaves and stems of kale. Place leaves into large bowl. Discard stems or save for later.
- Prepare dressing while quinoa is still cooking. In a small container mix the onion powder + olive oil + lemon juice + vinegar +dijon mustard + garlic powder + salt +pepper and stir together. Place to the side.
- Cut cucumbers into small half circles or desired shape. Cut grape/cherry tomatoes in half. Place to the side
- Add cooled quinoa to kale. Mix well until quinoa is well dispersed into salad.
- Add cucumbers+ tomatoes + feta cheese. If you have dried cranberries, pecans, walnuts, blueberries, or any other topping. Feel free to add! Customize it how you’d like if you’d like!
- Add dressing to the salad and stir well. Serve cool/cold. Serve with a side of sliced apples, oranges, or any other fruit. OR just put it in the salad!
Fiber-Filled Overnight Oats
Yield: 1 cup
- 1/2 cup rolled oats
- 1/2 cup almond milk
- 1 tbsp chia/flax seed or hemp hearts
- 1 tbsp greek yogurt-
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon- optional
Toppings (choose 2):
- 1/2 banana (sliced small pieces)
- 1 tbsp peanut butter
- 5-10 blueberries
- 1 tbsp low sugar grape jam
- 1 tbsp walnuts or almonds
- Inside of a 8 oz. mason jar, add rolled oats Add almond milk – stir
- Add flax seeds +/or hemp hearts
- Add greek yogurt + cinnamon
- Add toppings –
- Close jar- place in the fridge. Leave overnight
- Next morning, open jar -stir. If too chunky, add almond milk until desired texture is reached.
Yield: 16-20 ounces
- 1 1/4 cup frozen fruit
- 1/2 of medium banana
- 1 cup of frozen spinach (or kale) leaves
- 1 1/2 cup of almond milk, coconut water, or plain water
- 1 tbsp chia (or hemp) seeds
- 1/4 lime juice
- ½ scoop protein powder
- Using a blender, add frozen fruit + spinach
- Add banana
- Add flax or hemp seeds
- Squeeze lime (optional)
- Add almond milk, coconut milk, or water
- Add protein powder
- BLEND for about 20 seconds or until desired consistency is reached
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