Strolling Down Memory Lane – Antioxidants and Alzheimer’s

By Joe Martinez, RPh, PDE, CMS, Founder and CCO, HMS

Contributor, Stephanie Wu

We see it on juice bottle labels in grocery stores. Restaurants are incorporating it into their salads. Even candy bar wrappers point to it’s goodness wrapped in those sweet layers.

What is ‘it’ anyway?

Glad you asked.  It is a group of foods known for Antioxidants.

Antioxidants claim to be “superfoods,” able to fight disease, leap tall buildings in a single bound and reverse the sure signs of aging, including memory loss.

It’s true that antioxidants have been the buzz for quite some time now. But what are they exactly? Are they truly helpful? And, are they as good for us as they say, even to prevent memory loss diseases like Alzheimer’s?

Antioxidants: What are They Exactly?

Antioxidants are the big brother molecules that fight to protect other molecules from certain types of potential harm within the body.

Are Antioxidants Truly Helpful?

The short answer to this question is yes.

As The Conversation writes, antioxidants can help reduce and prevent cellular and other damage.

Take Alzheimer’s as an example. The University of Ulm conducted a study  (see study abstract here) with patients, ages 65-90 years experiencing mild dementia–an early sign of Alzheimer’s Disease.  

The study investigated the impact of antioxidants. During the investigation the researchers found that study participants had significantly less vitamin C and other essentials in their bloodstream than that of their healthy counterparts.

The short of it: certain antioxidants are good for us and as noted in a study published by The Journal of the American Medical Association of Neurology, could “modestly reduce long-term risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s.  

The Top 5 High Antioxidant Foods

In addition to vitamin C, other antioxidants include vitamin E and minerals like selenium and manganese, glutathione and flavonoids.

Now, time to translate the above into daily living. Let’s begin with the top antioxidants foods based on the ORAC scores.

  1.     Goji berries
  2.     Wild blueberries
  3.     Dark chocolate
  4.     Pecans
  5.     Artichoke (boiled)

Other high antioxidant foods include:

  •     Berries: blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, and cranberries
  •     Beans: small red beans and kidney, pinto and black beans
  •     Fruits: many apple varieties (with peels), avocados, cherries, green and red pears, fresh or  dried plums, pineapple, oranges, and kiwi
  •     Vegetables: spinach, red cabbage, red and white potatoes (with peels), broccoli, kale
  •     Beverages: green tea, coffee
  •     Nuts: walnuts, pistachios, pecans, hazelnuts, and almonds
  •     Herbs: ground cloves, cinnamon or ginger, dried oregano leaf, turmeric powder
  •     Grains: oat-based products
  •     Other: Wild-caught salmon

It is suggested that eating five or more servings of fruits and vegetables on a daily basis are beneficial for overall health.  

Ready to get started? Try these delicious vegetarian delights from Healthy Meals Supreme.

* Always check with your doctor or healthcare professional before making any changes to your diet or exercise routine.

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