(NaturalNews) According to the figures, some 20 million Americans either suffer themselves from Alzheimer's disease or some other form of dementia, or have a family member who does. And as the current generation of "baby boomers" ages into its senior years, this figure is only expected to increase dramatically. But there are a number of dietary interventions you can begin taking right now to help minimize your risk of developing this horrid condition. Here are five powerful foods to help optimize your brain health and stave off dementia:
1) Coconut oil. Arguably the most effective preventive food for avoiding Alzheimer's, coconut oil has a near-miraculous ability to both repair and rejuvenate the brain. Scientists have learned that brains unable to properly metabolize glucose require a special compound known as ketones to effectively function -- and coconut oil is the richest known source of a special type of fat that is converted directly into ketones upon consumption. Known as medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), these powerful substances help to eliminate the amyloid plaques in the brain that are linked to Alzheimer's, as well as facilitate the restoration of a healthy brain.
Dr. Mary Newport, M.D., medical director at the neonatal intensive care unit at Spring Hill Regional Hospital in Florida, is a testament to the power of coconut oil, as her husband was able to completely heal his developing dementia by taking coconut oil. By simply taking about four tablespoons of either coconut or palm kernel oil daily, Dr. Newport's husband was essentially cured of his condition in about a year.
2) Turmeric. Another powerful dementia-fighter, turmeric, also commonly known as curcumin, is an absolute must for maintaining brain health. In India, where turmeric is widely consumed as part of curry and other meal dishes, Alzheimer's and dementia rates are among the lowest in the world. And numerous scientific studies have found that turmeric exhibits measurable anti-dementia effects, as it is a powerful brain food.
A comprehensive study on turmeric published by Dr. James A. Duke, Ph.D., back in 2007 reveals that turmeric contains a unique compound that directly blocks the formation of beta-amyloid plaques, which are believed to be one of the primary substances responsible for Alzheimer's. According to his analysis, more than 50 published studies from around the world confirm this therapeutic function (http://www.drweil.com).
The Natural News Store carries a unique, high-potency form of turmeric that you can learn more about here: http://www.naturalnews.com
3) Pastured eggs and raw butter. Rich in natural vitamin B12, pastured eggs -- that is, eggs that come from chickens who roam pasture and feed on worms and other bugs -- are a powerful health-promoting food that play a major role in Alzheimer's prevention. Vitamin B12, which is only found naturally in animal-based foods, has been shown in scientific studies to be vitally necessary for preserving brain health. Omega-3 fatty acids, which are also found in high amounts in pastured eggs, are also an important brain food (http://www.eatwild.com/healthbenefits.htm).
Similarly, raw butter from grass-fed animals is packed with nutrients needed by the brain, including bioavailable vitamin A, lauric acid, lecithin, vitamin K, selenium, saturated fats, conjugated linoleic acid, vitamin D, and antioxidants. If you can find it, be sure to incorporate raw, grass-fed butter into your diet if you are serious about Alzheimer's prevention (http://bodyecology.com/articles/benefits_of_real_butter.php).
4) Walnuts. Though not as nutritionally-dense as raw butter and pastured eggs, walnuts are also reasonably high in omega-3 fatty acids, as well as other nutrients that have been shown to improve cognitive function. According to research funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), eating a moderate amount of walnuts, as well as other whole foods, as part of a healthy diet can help improve cognitive function and motor skills, and improve neural function (http://www.ars.usda.gov/IS/pr/2009/090331.htm).
"This information .. shows that the addition of walnuts, berries, and grape juice to the diet may increase 'health span' in aging and provide a 'longevity dividend' or economic benefit for slowing the aging process by reducing the incidence and delaying the onset of debilitating degenerative disease," explained Dr. James Joseph, Ph.D., one of the authors of the study, about the findings (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/11/071106122843.htm).
5) Fermented foods and probiotics. Getting back to the issue of B vitamins and their role in averting cognitive decline, a great way to get more of them into your diet without having to resort to synthetic pill varieties is to consume more fermented foods and probiotics. According to Body Ecology, probiotic bacteria actually manufacture necessary B vitamins in the gut, which in turn helps reduce blood levels of a substance known as homocysteine that is linked to Alzheimer's (http://bodyecology.com/articles/how_to_prevent_alzheimers.php).