According to some studies, food that is high in folate, along with vitamins B6 and B12, can help reduce the risk of dementia.

Food to fight dementia

Veggies Avocado Broccoli Asparagus

With an aging population in America and millions of baby boomers getting older, there can be dementia and cognitive impairment as we age.

Approximately 14 percent of people older than age 70 years have dementia, and that jumps to 37 percent in the group 90 years and older.

The number of people with dementia is escalating worldwide, and it’s estimated that by 2040, 81.1 million in the world will have dementia.  A study suggests that a certain B vitamin -named folate - may offer some protection from mild cognitive impairment and dementia.

This five-year study included 7,000 postmenopausal women who were free of cognitive impairment and dementia. At the end of the study, there were 238 with cognitive impairment and 69 with probable dementia.

Half of the study participants had folate intake below the daily recommended amount. Folate, as well as vitamin B6 and vitamin B12, are important in the regulation of the homocysteine cycle. And high blood levels of homocysteine increase cardiovascular disease risk, which of course is associated with increased risk for vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

Food sources of folate:

  • Broccoli, asparagus, avocados 
  • Citrus fruits 
  • Seeds and nuts 
  • Dried beans 
  • Dark greens such as spinach and kale

Fortunately good food sources of folate are plentiful and delicious. Here are a few tips to add folate to your every day foods:

  • Make salads with assorted dark greens, nuts and seeds.
  • Add avocado slices to sandwiches.
  • Enjoy fruit salads that include oranges and grapefruit.
  • Oven-roast asparagus, cauliflower and broccoli tossed olive oil.
  • Add legumes to soups, stews and salads.

Recipes high in folate: