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Eat to Lower Your Risk of Dementia

You can help keep your brain healthy with these 6 foods — plus a dose of sunshine

Eat to Prevent Alzheimer's: almonds

Vitamin E-rich almonds promote brain health. — Comstock/Getty Images

3. Add in some almonds

Vitamin E is an antioxidant that works on a molecular level to promote healthy blood vessels.

Given the brain’s craving for oxygen-rich blood, it’s easy to see why E is such an important part of a brain-healthy diet — and studies have shown that people with the highest blood levels of Vitamin E have a reduced risk of developing Alzheimer’s.

Vitamin E occurs naturally in almonds, other nuts and avocados, but the most common sources are healthy vegetable oils, like olive, canola and sunflower. Some green vegetables, like spinach, broccoli and collards, also provide this nutrient.

But it’s important to get your vitamin E from food, and avoid mega-doses from supplements, because some studies have tied high-dose supplements to serious medical conditions, such as prostate cancer. “In foods, there are at least eight different chemical forms of vitamin E,” Johnson says. “We think they all do something a little different.”

Next page: Food No. 4: Go fishin.’ »

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BRAIN HEALTH: Working with brain experts from the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives, AARP has developed a wide range of resources to keep your brain sharp.

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