Skimping on olive oil
cliplab.pro/Shutterstock Olive oil has been a culinary staple since practically the dawn of time—and for more reasons than its tasty flavor. It’s extremely useful in the health department when consumed in moderation, offering a slew of benefits including lowering inflammation, reducing the risk of heart disease and depression, as well as dementia. In fact, olive oil is considered one of the best foods for boosting brain health—improving both focus and memory. One recent study by Temple University linked extra-virgin olive oil consumption to protection of memory, specifically learning ability, and reducing the formation of plaques on the brain that are indicators of Alzheimer’s disease. Here are some other things you can do to decrease your dementia risk.
Consuming a diet high in saturated fats
Lisovskaya Natalia/Shutterstock You already know a nutritional, well-balanced diet is essential to your heart and weight. But food’s benefits for the mind—like these brain boosters—are sometimes overlooked. “The brain needs healthy fats, lean proteins, vitamins and minerals to function properly,” says Howard Fillit, MD, founding executive director and chief scientist of the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF) and the ADDF’s Cognitive Vitality Program. Also, research shows that people who have a diet high in saturated fats, such as canola oil, are more likely to develop dementia. The best nutrition you can give your brain is a diet full of fruits, vegetables, nuts, and grains. Replace butter with healthy fats, such as olive oil, and limit your intake of red meat, instead opting for other lean protein sources including chicken and fish.