Focussing on cutting the dementia risk requires promoting brain health, something people should practice whether the disease runs in the family or not. The healthiest way to promote a healthy brain is by making a few lifestyle changes, such as ensuring people keep to a reasonable sleep schedule or exercise. But dietary changes can be equally as valuable, as they ensure the brain gets the required nutrition.
A study published in the journal Neurology has found anti-inflammatory diets can potentially protect people’s brains.
Researchers examined more than 1,000 people’s diets rating them for anti-inflammatory foods and tracking them across three years.
Senior author of the study Dr Nikolaos Scarmeas, from Kapodistrian University of Athens in Greece said: “As people can change their diets, they might want to think about eating anti-inflammatory foods like fruit and vegetables and avoiding more inflammatory choices like very high-calorie foods.
“But more research is needed before specific dietary advice can be given, as this was not a clinical trial providing clear proof.”
So what constitutes anti-inflammatory foods?
Studies have long linked dementia, especially the frontotemporal kind, with inflammation in the brain.
Researchers have recently identified an “anti-inflammatory” diet that could help reduce the dementia risk.
Findings have suggested those who follow such a diet could cut their risk by a third.
READ MORE: Dementia: The food to eat ‘more than three times a week’ to lower risk
On average, those with the anti-inflammatory diet also consumed approximately 20 pieces of fruit a week.
Fruits come with varying mineral compositions, but some are especially anti-inflammatory.
The best examples include most berries, grapes, cherries, pineapple and watermelon.
Most people may not have heard the word legume before but will likely already incorporate them into their diets.
Common legumes include peanuts, kidney beans, black beans, green peas, chickpeas and lentils.
Researchers found the low-inflammation diet included at least four servings of legumes per week.