The Tonic This Neuroscientist Drinks Every Day To Prevent Alzheimer's
This tonic is excellent for your health in so many ways (immune-boosting, energizing, gut-friendly, etc.), but most importantly, this tonic provides many nutritional benefits that may help prevent Alzheimer's down the road. Each ingredient has something to offer, which makes this drink the perfect way to start your day. As a Ph.D., an assistant professor of neuroscience at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, and a visiting professor of health psychology at Princeton University, I'm acutely aware of the negative effects of Alzheimer's—and the power of lifestyle changes to make a real difference. Let's take a look at what exactly you'll get from this tonic for Alzheimer's prevention.
Adding a fresh orange to this veggie drink not only makes it deliciously (but naturally) sweet, but oranges actually contain a fair amount of folate. Studies have shown that low blood levels of folate are associated with Alzheimer's, whereas other studies have also shown that folate supplementation decreases the risk of Alzheimer's later in life. Just one orange contains 40 to 50 mcg of folate, and orange juice may contain even more, especially if it is fortified.
Nitrate is a molecule that can be found in plant foods, like beets, and research tells us that an increase in dietary nitrate intake may be useful to help lower blood pressure. This is important because a lot of research also indicates that cardiovascular disease may be linked to cognitive impairment, including Alzheimer's. Don't confuse dietary nitrate with nitrite, however, which is a preservative added to processed meats (like bacon) to help prevent spoilage and enhance the pink color.
You may be familiar with the term probiotics, but what about prebiotics? Prebiotics are found in plant foods, and they are certain fibers that help the beneficial bacteria in your gut grow. These bacteria feed on the fibers that pass through your intestines, which aren't digestible by your body. Included in the list of prebiotic foods (and this tonic!) are carrots and beets. Maple water contains prebiotics as well (in addition to electrolytes and antioxidants). Preliminary research shows that altering our gut microbiome may slow down the progression of Alzheimer's, and one way to do that is by eating prebiotics!
Finally, let's chat about ginger. Ginger is commonly known for its ability to settle an upset stomach, but did you know it also has anti-inflammatory properties? That's why ginger is the perfect addition to this daily tonic (or any meal for that matter). Researchers have found an association between inflammation in the body and the development of Alzheimer's. Although we can't say that eating ginger will necessarily help prevent Alzheimer's, there's no harm in adding this tasty herb to any tonic.
Alzheimer's Prevention Tonic
- 1 peeled orange (or ⅓ cup fortified orange juice)
- 1 small carrot, peeled (raw or cooked)
- ½ small beet (raw or cooked)
- 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
- 6 fluid ounces maple water (we love Drink Simple)
- Blend ingredients together until smooth. Add ice as desired to the blender. Drink immediately.
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