Dates and Other Foods That Fight Alzheimer’s Disease


  • Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive illness that takes away your ability to carry out activities of daily living (ADL). 
  • Alzheimer’s disease affects 5.8 million Americans. 
  • Dates have protective properties that will help prevent brain illnesses such as Alzheimer’s Disease. 
  • Reducing your comorbidities and improving your lifestyle helps in preventing the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. 

Alzheimer’s disease is something we have all heard about. This may also be something we all fear. However, your diet and certain foods can help fight it. Dates are one of those certain foods.  We bet you are ready to know how dates and other foods fight Alzheimer’s disease. You can even prevent brain decline! All you need to do is make a few changes. This will help make your brain stronger.

What is Alzheimer’s Disease?

Your brain is in charge of everything in the body. This includes breathing, thinking, and eating. This organ is also divided into functional sections. This includes the frontal lobe, temporal lobe, and parietal lobe. It also has the cerebellum, brain stem, and occipital lobe. 

The temporal lobe in particular is in charge of communication and memory. This includes the hippocampus and entorhinal cortex. This is the area that will first be affected in degenerative diseases that affect memory. These include  Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. 

Alzheimer’s disease is a type of dementia. It affects our memory and thinking. It can even affect our behavior in some cases. This disease primarily destroys neurons and connections in the temporal lobe. This damage might be done gradually. This progressive illness begins with mild memory loss. Then, the person would slowly lose the ability to carry out activities of daily living (ADLs). They may have difficulty continuing conversations. Responding to environmental cues might already be too hard for them. 

Symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s disease affects as many as 5.8 million Americans. This is why knowing the signs and symptoms can be lifesaving for many. Most of these symptoms may first appear after age 60. However, the risk continues to increase with age. 

The first signs of Alzheimer’s disease can vary from person to person. However, some common ones include: 

  • Having trouble coming up with words 
  • Lack of spatial awareness  (ability to sense objects near them)
  • Impaired reasoning or judgment 

Other symptoms include:

  • Taking longer to complete normal tasks 
  • Repeating questions 
  • Trouble paying bills and handling finances 
  • Losing things
  • Mood and personality changes 
  • Increased anxiety 

These signs and symptoms will get significantly worse over time. Some of the more severe signs may diminish the quality of life for the person. Signs of severe Alzheimer’s disease include:

  • Inability to communicate 
  • Weight loss
  • Seizures
  • Skin infections
  • Difficulty swallowing 
  • Increased sleeping 
  • Loss of bladder and bowel control

Alzheimer’s Disease Prevention

There is no guarantee that an individual will not experience Alzheimer’s disease. However, there are some things you can do to promote brain health. These will also help prevent degenerative health conditions. 

Studies have found that reducing other comorbidities can reduce the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. These comorbidities include high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity. There is also evidence that improving lifestyle can also lead to improved brain and heart health. Some steps you may do include quitting smoking, sleeping better, and exercising.

Dates Fight Alzheimer’s Disease

The date palm fruit is a good source of dietary fiber. It is also rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents. Dates contain phenolics and other antioxidants. These include anthocyanins, ferulic acid, protocatechuic acid, and caffeic acid. Studies have shown that these compounds have well-known health benefits. They are also neuroprotective. 

Other studies have shown that supplementing the diet with dates improves memory and learning. It also reduces the beta-amyloid present in individuals with Alzheimer’s disease. 

Dates can also protect against brain damage caused by oxidative stress and inflammation. Oxidative stress happens when there are not enough antioxidants. This causes damage to your cell and tissue. Dates may also help prevent the peripheral nerve in your brain from degrading. Dates are like other natural plant-based foods. Therefore, adding dates to your everyday diet can lead to optimal brain health! It also reduces your risk for dementia and other neurodegenerative diseases. 

What Foods Fight Alzheimer’s Disease? 

Aside from dates, there are plenty of other foods that you should include in your diet. They will help promote better brain health and cognition. The best food for Alzheimer’s patients may also be foods that fight memory loss.

Below you will find some examples of these foods. They can all help prevent dementia and Alzheimer’s.

Green Leafy Vegetables

Everybody knows that eating your greens is important. These leafy vegetables include kale, spinach, collards, and lettuce. , But did you know that they can reduce the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s? Studies have shown that green leafy vegetables are positively associated with a slowing down in the progression of Alzheimer’s. They are also associated with a decrease in cognitive decline. These veggies also contain nutrients such as vitamin K and lutein. It also has folate and beta-carotene. These nutrients are essential in body functions. They also act as antioxidants.

Omega 3 Fatty Acids

The best source of omega 3 fatty acids is fish. However, you can still find it in other food sources. These include nuts, seeds, and avocados. Omega 3 is an essential fatty acid. Our bodies need them. However, we usually do not get enough of them.Studies have shown that omega 3 fatty acids can lower blood pressure and blood cholesterol. It can also improve heart health and cognition. It can also lower beta-amyloid in patients with Alzheimer’s disease. This fatty acid reduces inflammation and protects our cell membranes. It also improves neural conduction.

Tea and Coffee

Many think that the caffeine in some teas and coffee provides a boost of energy. But actually,  it can do more than that! One cup of coffee or tea a day is associated with a  boost in your memory and recall. It also helps you concentrate and obtain better thinking skills.

Berries

Berries might seem like pretty normal food. However, these fruits are actually full of flavonoids. These compounds are strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agents. This means they can help fight off free radicals. This in turn prevents oxidative damage. The anthocyanins content in some berries can cross the blood-brain barrier. This means berries can help protect brain cells from damage. 

Diet for Alzheimer’s Disease

By now you are probably wondering, can you reverse Alzheimer’s with diet? There is nothing that truly cures or reverses the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. However, there is evidence that having a healthy lifestyle may slow down the progression of Alzheimer’s. Following a diet that includes foods mentioned may even prevent it in some individuals. 

A diet high in omega 3 fatty acids can lead to improved brain health. Dates, tea, coffee, and berries may also help prevent the disease. However, there are other foods that not only lower the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s. They may also work as remedies for depression and other mental illnesses!

Many believe that the Mediterranean diet is the best solution. It may help prevent heart health issues and degenerative diseases. Others find that the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet is the best diet plan. It helps cure high blood pressure and treat heart health. In fact, a combination of both of these diets has been proven to work in treating cognitive decline.

The Mediterranean-DASH Diet Intervention For Neurodegenerative Delay (MIND) diet is a combination of both of these. It can work to prevent and treat Alzheimer’s disease.

This diet focuses on the following foods for brain health: 

  • At least 3 servings per day of whole grains 
  • At least 1 serving per day of other vegetables 
  • At least 1 serving per day of olive oil 
  • At least 6 servings per week of leafy green vegetables 
  • At least 5 servings per week of nuts
  • At least 3 servings per week of beans
  • At least 2 servings per week of poultry
  • At least 2 servings per week of berries 
  • One glass of wine per day 

There are certain suggestions and limitations to this diet. For example, a person should not exceed more than one glass of wine a day. Otherwise, alcohol can have degenerative effects on the brain. 

Foods high in antioxidants help fight memory loss and oxidative damage. These include berries, turmeric, and dates. Lifestyle habits can also work to improve brain functionality. They also prevent Alzheimer’s disease.  These include coping with stress and eating healthy. Exercising and sleeping more can also help.

There are certain foods that can work at protecting your brain. These foods can help prevent Alzheimer’s and dementia. They include leafy vegetables, dates, berries, coffee, tea, and fish. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is a good idea.  Improving the variety in your diet can also help keep your brain healthy. It may reduce your chances of developing dementia and Alzheimer’s disease!

Summary

Instead of worrying about your risk of Alzheimer’s disease,  you can now focus on eating certain foods that help prevent Alzheimer’s. Some of these foods include dates, leafy greens, berries, fish, whole grains, and more. You can also treat other health conditions, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes by eating this diet. It will help protect your brain in the process.

Scientific Information

  • Antioxidant – a compound that helps fight free radicals, chemicals, and harmful toxins that cause damage to the body.
  • Beta-Amyloid – a protein involved in Alzheimer’s disease. It comes in several different molecular forms and deposits between neurons. It is formed from the breakdown of a larger protein, called amyloid precursor protein. Plaques formed from beta-amyloid disrupt normal cell function. 
  • Carotenoids – pigments in plants, algae, and fruits that are yellow, red, and orange and have antioxidant properties.
  • Phenolic Acid – a type of phytochemical found in fruits and vegetables that is antioxidant.
  • Mediterranean Diet – a diet based on consumption of more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish, dry nuts and fruits, and healthy fats. 
  • DASH Diet – a diet based on managing high blood pressure and reducing risk for heart conditions by following a diet plan high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy, fish, poultry, beans, and vegetable oils. The diet limits sodium intake and sugar. 
Written by:

Juliana Tamayo, MS

Nutritionist

Reviewed by:
Registered Dietitian
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