If you are someone who is providing care to an individual with dementia, it is important to realize that the quality of the individual’s food contributes significantly to his or her quality of life. Certain foods actually promote brain health, including turmeric, which is not only an anti-inflammatory agent but is also able to deliver nutrients directly to the brain.1 Other foods contributing to brain health include coconut oil, ginger, cinnamon, clove, cilantro, fresh vegetables and seafood.1
That being said, there’s a large variety of dishes and ways to prepare meals that are not only beneficial for people with dementia, but also delicious! It’s important, however, to use organic and fresh ingredients as often as possible because chemical pesticides, preservatives and any artificial ingredients are thought to damage brain cells and promote dementia.1 Don’t feel overwhelmed if you can’t think of many recipes using the previously listed foods – just try to incorporate them into meals whenever possible. Here’s an example of a recipe, courtesy of John Shmid and found on best-alzheimers-products.com, that would provide great health benefits to someone with dementia:
Maple and Mustard-Glazed Salmon with Roasted Brussels Sprouts
- 2 tbsp. maple syrup
- 2 tbsp. whole-grain mustard
- 4 salmon fillets
- 1 lb Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved through the root
- 1 large red onion, cut into wedges and with stem ends left intact
- 2 tbsp. melted coconut oil
- Salt and pepper
- Lemon wedges, for serving
- Whisk together the mustard and maple syrup, then season both sides of the salmon fillets liberally with salt and pepper and brush them with the mustard-maple mixture before setting aside.
- Meanwhile, heat the oven to 450°F. In a large bowl, toss the sprouts and onion with the oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper until well-coated. Spread them out on a baking sheet, cut side-down, and roast on the lower rack until caramelized and tender, 20-30 minutes.
- When the sprouts are nearly done, arrange the fillets on an oven-proof dish and broil them, skin-side down, until the maple mixture is well-caramelized and the fish is just cooked through – 7 to 10 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fillet.
- Serve with the sprouts and lemon wedges.2
- Wegerer J. Nutrition and Dementia: Foods That Increase Alzheimer’s Risks [Internet]. Alzheimers.net. 2014 [cited 2018Feb 15]. Available from:
- Schmid J. Maple and Mustard-Glazed Salmon with Roasted Brussels Sprouts [Internet]. Best Alzheimer's Products. 2016 [cited 2018Feb15]. Available from: http://www.best-alzheimers-products.com/4115.html