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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

  • Lower dementia risk nutrition woman

    Brain Foods

    En español | The food you eat may have a lot to do with the health of your brain as you age, according to the latest research. And don't think you can just pop a vitamin pill — real food contains micronutrients that also play an important role. To protect your gray matter, consider consuming more of these foods. — Getty Images

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  • Lower dementia risk nutrition beans

    Get Full of Beans

    Beans and green peas provide a rich source of B-complex vitamins, which may play a role in protecting against brain shrinkage as well as in maintaining blood sugar levels and a healthy nervous system. Vitamin B-1 (thiamine) and folic acid are also found in enriched grain products and cereals. — palatiaphoto / Alamy

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  • Lower dementia risk nutrition vitamin c limes

    Raise Your C Level

    Vitamin C is an antioxidant, essential for healthy skin and blood vessel functioning, but some studies suggest it may protect against dementia-related brain plaque, too. Oranges, limes and lemons are a convenient source of ascorbic acid (aka vitamin C), as are sweet peppers, strawberries, cantaloupes, tomatoes, broccoli and leafy greens. — Corbis

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  • Lower dementia risk nutrition almonds nuts

    Add in Some Almonds

    Vitamin E promotes healthy blood vessels, and studies have shown that people with high blood levels of the antioxidant have a reduced risk of developing Alzheimer's disease. Vitamin E may also slow the progression of Alzheimer's, a new study suggests. Add E to your diet with almonds, other nuts and avocado. — Karin Hildebrand Lau / Alamy

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  • Lower dementia risk nutrition salmon cold water fish

    Go Fishin'

    The omega-3 fatty acids in fish reduce inflammation in the body. UCLA scientists found that people with lower omega-3 blood levels had more brain shrinkage and poorer performance on memory tests. Aim for eating fatty, cold-water fish, such as salmon, cod, herring and mackerel, once or twice a week. — Getty Images

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  • Lower dementia risk nutrition spinach

    Savor Spinach

    Spinach is packed with at least 15 different antioxidant compounds known as flavonoids, which have been shown to slow the formation of the beta-amyloid plaques that build up in those with Alzheimer's disease. What's more, spinach is rich in vitamins A and K, folic acid and iron. — Corbis

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  • Lower dementia risk nutrition coffee

    Crave Coffee

    About three cups of coffee a day may help protect against Alzheimer's, a 2012 University of South Florida study found. Older adults with mild cognitive impairment who drank that much java were far less likely to develop full-blown Alzheimer's over the following two to four years than those who had very little or no caffeine. — Getty Images

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  • Lower dementia risk nutrition sunshine vitamin d

    Get Some Sun

    New research suggests that adults with low levels of vitamin D may have a higher risk of developing dementia, Alzheimer's or other cognitive problems. Exposing your sunscreen-free face, back, arms or legs to no more than 10 to 15 minutes of sunshine a few times a week could boost D levels. — Tetra Images / Alamy

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