•Eat fish and seeds high in essential omega 3 fats. Have wild or organic salmon, herring, sardines or mackerel 3 times a week; sprinkle ground flax seeds (linseeds) on your cereal and snack on pumpkin seeds.
•Eat eggs high in the ‘smart fats’ phospholipids. The best eggs are omega 3 rich eggs, from chickens fed flax seeds. Lecithin, which you can buy in health food stores in either capsules or granules, is also high in phospholipids. Sprinkle a dessertspoon (5g) of lecithin granules on your cereal or ½ this if you also take high-PC (phosphatidyl choline) lecithin. Some brain food supplements also provide phosphatidyl choline, the most important phospholipid, phosphatidyl serine and DMAE.
•Eat high quality protein, rich in essential amino acids. Choose lean meat, eggs, natural yogurt and high protein grains and pulses such as quinoa, tofu, chickpeas and lentils.
•Eat slow release carbohydrates such as oat based cereals, oat cakes, wholewheat pasta and brown basmati rice.
•Eat vitamin, mineral and antioxidant-rich foods such as berries, dark green leafy vegetables and root vegetables such as tenderstem broccoli, kale, spinach, watercress, carrots, sweet potatoes, brussel sprouts, green beans, peppers or peas. Also consider taking an antioxidant supplement providing vitamin A, C and E as well as co-enzyme Q10, lipoic acid, glutathione (in onions and garlic) or N-acetyl cysteine, alpha-lipoic acid and resveratrol (in red grapes and wine) and anthocyanidins (in berries).
•Avoid hydrogenated (solidified) fats found in junk food and burnt fats found in fried food, as well as sugar and excess caffeine and alcohol.
•Take a high strength multivitamin/ antioxidant supplement containing at least at least 25mg of each of the main B vitamins, 500mcg B12, 400mcg of folic acid plus vitamins A, C and E. Consider adding Trimethylglycine (TMG) and lecithin depending on your homocysteine level.
•Test your homocystine level. If it’s above 6 also supplement a homocystine formula. If it’s above 7 take 2 a day, if it’s above 9 take 4 a day and if it’s above 15 take 6 a day. Retest yourself 2 months later and reduce your supplement accordingly.
•Use your brain. Play games, puzzles and crosswords frequently. Learn a new language. Keep learning throughout your life.
•Keep physical. If walking is your exercise, walk a mile a day. Ideally take up an exercise that helps develop ‘yogic’ breathing, such as yoga, Tai Chi or psychocalisthenics. Dancing to music helps to improve memory.
•Make sure you get enough light. Spend some time outdoors most days. Use full-spectrum lighting. Have a sunny holiday in the winter.
•Eat an egg a day, or 6 a week - scrambled, boiled or poached.
•Eat a tablespoon of seeds and nuts a day - linseed, pumpkin, sesame, sunflower.
•Eat oily fish 3 times a week - herring, mackerel, salmon, or sardines, limit tuna to 3 times a month.
•Eat whole foods – whole grains, lentils, beans, nuts, fresh fruit and veg
•Eat vitamin rich food – such as broccoli, kale, spinach, watercress, carrots, sweet potatoes, brussels sprouts, green beans, peppers, peas.
•Snack on fresh fruit – apples, pears and / or berries.
•Eat rice, rye, oats, corn, quinoa, whole wheat, chickpeas.
•Dilute fruit juices.
•Half your diet should be raw or lightly steamed.
•Have 2 servings of protein a day if you’re a woman, 3 if you’re a man – beans, lentils, quinoa, tofu, peas, broad beans, corn, lean meat and fish.
•Saturated fats from meat and dairy.
•Fried and processed foods.
•Added sugar – minimise your consumption of sugars.
•Excess caffeine and alcohol.
The H Factor, by Patrick Holford, 2003. ISBN 0749924195
The Alzeimers Prevention Plan, by Patrick Holford, 2011. ISBN 9780749925147