When my granny passed away 20 years ago, she no longer remembered who I was. Occasionally, she remembered who my mother — her daughter — was. More often than not, she could not even remember who she was. She was 72 when she died.
Alzheimer's disease runs in my family, and it scares me more than cancer and heart disease put together. So I follow studies about it — and how to reduce its likelihood — quite closely.
One such study was published on May 2. The research, published in the American Journal of Neurology, found that eating foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids may help guard against the onset and symptoms of Alzheimer's disease.
For the study, researchers followed roughly 1,200 dementia-free patients over the age of 65, tracking their dietary habits and taking blood samples to test for a protein called beta-amyloid, a protein that precious research has linked to memory problems and Alzheimer’s disease.
They found that those subjects who consumed omega-3s had significantly lower levels of amyloid in their blood, which could be linked to a lower risk for Alzheimer's. And the effects were compounding.Each additional gram of omega-3 fatty acid that a study subject consumed decreased amyloid levels by 20 to 30 percent.
The study also looked at other nutrients, such as beta-carotene, vitamin D, vitamin B12, vitamin E, omega-6, saturated fatty acids, and non-unsaturated fatty acids, but only omega-3s were associated with lower amyloid levels.
Which foods are good sources of omega 3s? Fish like mackerel, trout, herring, tuna or salmon, and kale, tofu, soybeans, walnuts and flaxseed.