10/03/2012 08:16 EDT | Updated 12/03/2012 05:12 EST

Four Foods That Help Prevent Alzheimer's


That morning cup of coffee holds benefits beyond the energy boost. Coffee drinkers can take solace in recent findings linking coffee to a decreased Alzheimer's risk. In observance of World Alzheimer's Month, we have put together a list of foods with protective benefits against Alzheimer's disease. It's important to take note which of these foods you are consuming on a daily basis and which you may opt to include in your daily diet.


Four Foods That Can Stave Off Alzheimer's

1. Citrus Fruits

Citrus fruits are extremely rich in vitamin C, an antioxidant that improves blood vessel function and promotes skin health. Additionally, a recent study revealed that vitamin C helps to dissolve plaque build-up in the brain, a hallmark of Alzheimer's disease.

2. Almonds

Vitamin E, a naturally occurring antioxidant found in nuts, has also been linked with lowering an individual's risk of developing Alzheimer's. Similar to vitamin C, vitamin E promotes healthy blood vessels that produce oxygen-rich blood, a crucial component to a healthy mind.

3. Fish

Over the past several decades, scientists have closely studied the beneficial effects linked to omega-3 fatty acids that can be found in oily cold-water fish such as salmon and herring. A recent four-year study of 815 Chicago seniors published in the Archives of Neurology found that older adults who eat fish at least once a week are 60 per cent less likely to develop Alzheimer's than those who don't. But, keep in mind that the beneficial effects were only found for fish that had been grilled or baked (so that the Omega-3 fatty acids are preserved.)

4. Coffee

For all you coffee lovers, a recent 2009 study from the University of South Florida revealed that there are, in fact, benefits to consuming a daily cup-of-Joe beyond helping you wake up and start your day. The study demonstrated that caffeinated coffee reduced blood levels of a plaque-forming protein and cognitive impairment associated with Alzheimer's. Unfortunately, decaffeinated coffee fails to have the same effect.

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