To help preserve mental function and protect against age-related cognitive decline consider implementing these healthy lifestyle, nutrition and supplement choices:
- Eat an anti-inflammatory diet. It helps prevent inappropriate inflammation and counters the damage from oxidative stress, which may be linked to Alzheimer's disease. Focus on antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables, foods rich in vitamins C and E, omega-3 fatty acids, and the spices turmeric and ginger. My Anti-Inflammatory Food Pyramid has more information and specific recommendations.
- Eat berries. Blueberries in particular may improve motor skills and help reverse age-related short-term memory loss, and may also protect the brain from stroke damage.
- Use cooking methods that limit inflammation. Cook at lower temperatures to avoid the formation of AGEs (advanced glycation end products) which have been linked to Alzheimer's disease, and avoid cooking methods that require excessive fat, such as deep frying.
- Focus on fish. Wild Alaskan salmon, sardines, herring and black cod are excellent sources of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids, yet are relatively low in potential environmental toxins. Diets rich in fish have been shown to help alleviate depression and other mental-health issues.