How Diet Impacts Alzheimers

7 superfoods you should have on hand and how to prepare them!

Now, I know I’m not about to shock any of you when I say that your diet impacts your health. But it might not be quite as obvious how much what we chow down on actually impacts our brains, and more specifically, our memory.


Leaving the doctor’s office 10 years ago with nothing but a diagnosis of early onset Alzheimer's and instructions to get my 56 year old mother’s will in order, I was determined to make sure Ma’dukes didn’t end up just another number on a chart. As her primary caretaker, it was up to me to seek out the best hacks for improving the coming years in this next chapter of our lives. And you better believe I wasn’t going to let it get the best of us, honey! As the capable, driven baddies that we are, we dove in head first: Starting with diet.

After some research, and actually trying out a few different options, we landed on a Mediterranean Diet. The gist of it is: daily veggies, fruits, whole grains and healthy fats, plus fish, poultry, beans and eggs, dairy in moderation, and limited red meat (if any).

Right away we saw changes. This was super impactful with Ma’dukes and helped to stimulate her cognitively. Plus major *bonus starz* because it actually has been proven to slow down the decline caused by the disease. Every body is different but with mom specifically, I’ve noticed her energy levels are higher and she is way more engaged when she sticks to a Mediterranean diet. 

 

Below are the Superfoods we swear by here at the Log Cabin:

  1. 
Coconut Oil 
    1. Literally aids in mending brain function, like hello? This stuff makes any meal into a treat AND is going to be a superhero in mending the brain!
    2. The easiest way to mix this into your diet, is to cook with it. Rather than using olive oil or butter, grab the coconut oil. Also, pro-tip, super yummy in your coffee or tea in the morning.
  2. Vegetables 
    1. Leafy greens, yes queen! They reduce the accumulation of beta-amyloid proteins which is a key player in the deterioration caused by Alzheimer’s.
    2. Leafy greens + coco oil is a must-try. Wilt some chard, spinach, or kale on the stove top with the oil and watch a full bag of greens turn into a serving or two. A little salt and pepper and BAM, you’re on Top Chef!
  3. Whole grains 
    1. Proven to slow down cognitive decline. Prolonging cognitive ability here is obviously a HUGE goal.
    2. We get most of our whole grains from oatmeal in the morning at the log cabin, but you can also try dinners with brown rice, or adding some cooked, seasoned, barley to a veggie medley.
  4. Blueberries 
    1. Dark skinned berries in general, but blueberries are fa’sho at the top of the list. Helps with blood flow, brain activity, AND memory. Ten’s across the board!
    2. No prep needed, just eat ‘em by the fist full.
  5. Cinnamon 
    1. Thought to prevent clumps or entanglements of proteins in the brain found in Alzheimer’s patients. Aka magic?!
    2. I love adding a stick to our coffee or oatmeal for instant-Fall, instant-delicious vibes.
  6. Salmon 
    1. Fish in general has so so many healthy fats that we live for, Salmon is just our go to. 
    2. We’re always on the hunt for quick cook times and it doesn’t get any more low maintenance than fish. Put the oven around 450, brush on some trusty coco oil, bake skin side down, and pull her out in about 15 mins. 
  7. Walnuts
    1. More Omega-3 Fatties for the WIN!
    2. Again, no real prep necessary, snacking all day, everyday. Or crumble them over those leafy greens from earlier. Oh boy...

Like I’ve said 100 times before, everyone’s journey is a little different. Different things, activities, diets, etc., work for different people. For us, the Mediterranean Diet has turned out to be the best (and tastiest) option for us to prevent decline with Ma’dukes. What works for us might not be the holy grail for everyone but our goal is to inspire and educate here. 

 

If you’re someone in the early stages of a diagnosis, looking for help, you are SO not alone and a diagnosis is the furthest thing from hopeless. We at the Log Cabin are here to support you and encourage you in your journey to THRIVE in the midst of struggle. We can do hard things! Especially if it involves a bunch of actually super incredible meals, amiright?!

 

Xoxo,

Nikki + ALCIB Team

 

Additional Helpful links to check out:

Foods that could play a role in causing memory loss

Diet and Alzheimer's prevention

1 comment

Liana

Hi Nikki! Thanks for putting all this helpful info in one spot. I too researched best diet for mom after her Alzheimer’s diagnoses. We settled on a keto diet which is similar to the Mediterranean diet. Love this post and I look forward to more healthy food info this month!

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published