As Alzheimer’s disease progresses and threatens to become a global epidemic, many researchers are focused on finding prevention methods. Because there is no cure, the best way to maintain or improve brain health is by preventing Alzheimer’s from ever developing.
Learn how avocados can help to maintain and improve brain health to prevent Alzheimer’s.
Boost Brain Health with Avocados
While avocados often get a bad reputation for being high in calories and fat, its positive impact on brain health cannot be underestimated. Many consider avocados to be the perfect food, fighting disease and inflammation. and improving health.
Here is a closer look at how avocados protect brain health:
- As a monounsaturated fat, the avocado can lower blood pressure and increase blood flow — two factors that can reduce a person’s risk for cognitive decline. Monounsaturated fats can also prevent insulin resistance and fight type 2 diabetes, another risk factor for Alzheimer’s.
- High in folate, avocados are thought to prevent the formation of brain tangles thought to cause Alzheimer’s.
- Avocados have a high amount of potassium, which when combined with the omega-3s and oleic acid, can reduce blood pressure and a lower blood pressure has been shown to be beneficial for brain health.
- Although admittedly high in fat, avocados are a strong source of omega-3 fatty acids which has been shown to prevent and slow Alzheimer’s.
- Phytonutrient polyphenols and flavonoids found in avocados are anti-inflammatories, which can also fight Alzheimer’s.
- Avocados also boast roughly 28 micrograms of vitamin K. Vitamin K improves blood flow, decreases risk of stroke and may also help to prevent Alzheimer’s.
1. Brain Power Smoothie (Blueberry Avocado Smoothie)
- Chia seeds
- Pomegranate juice
- Place all ingredients in blender.
- Blend until smooth.
Learn more about the Brain Power Smoothie.
2. California Barley Bowl
- 1/2 cup cooked barley
- 1 cup bean sprouts
- 1/3 cup Cotija cheese or queso fresco
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 small ripe avocado, peeled, pitted, and diced or sliced
- Flaky salt
- Ground pepper
For Lemony Yogurt Sauce:
- 1/2 cup plain yogurt
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon chopped chives
- Pinch of kosher salt
- Stir barley, sprouts, cheese, almonds and kosher salt together.
- Whisk all yogurt sauce ingredients in a small both and refrigerate up to three days.
- Scoop barley mixture into two bowls, top with avocado and yogurt sauce.
- Add salt and pepper to taste, serve.
Learn more about the California Barley Bowl recipe.
3. Quinoa Avocado Sushi
- 1 cup quinoa
- 2 cups water
- 3 tablespoons brown rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup
- Pinch of salt
- 1 small cucumber
- Handful of spinach
- 1 avocado
- 4 sheets nori sushi wrap
- Place quinoa and water in a saucepan. Boil and then reduce heat to simmer until quinoa is cooked.
- Cut avocado and cucumber into thin strips.
- Mix together vinegar, maple syrup and salt in a small bowl.
- Gradually pour vinegar mixture over quinoa, mixing as you pour.
- Spread quinoa on each sushi wrap, leaving 2 inches at the end of each wrap.
- Place spinach on quinoa and top with cucumber and avocado. Roll up tightly and cut into rolls.
Learn more about Quinoa Avocado Sushi.
4. Asparagus, Snap Pea and Avocado Pasta
- Coarse salt and ground pepper
- 1 pound asparagus, ends trimmed and cut into 2-inch lengths
- 1 pound sugar snap peas, strings removed
- 1 pound bow-tie pasta (farfalle)
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 ripe avocado, halved, pitted, peeled, and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh mint, parsley, or basil
- 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan or pecorino cheese, plus more for serving, if desired
- Cook asparagus in boiling water for about two minutes.
- Add snap peas, cook for 30 seconds then transfer asparagus and snap peas to a bowl.
- Return water to boil and add pasta. Cook until al dente.
- Drain and reserve 1 cup pasta water, set pasta aside.
- In pasta pot, melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add asparagus, snap peas and garlic.
- Cook until vegetables are crisp.
- Add remaining butter, cooked pasta, avocado, herbs, cheese and reserved pasta water.
- Toss to combine and season with salt, pepper and cheese.
Learn more about the Asparagus, Snap Pea and Avocado Pasta recipe.
5. Caprese Stuffed Avocado
- 1 pint of cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in halves
- 8 oz or ½ pound of mozzarella pearls or ciliegine
- ½ cup of basil garlic oil sauce , adjust to taste
- 4 avocados
- Lettuce or salad greens to serve with the avocados – optional
- 4 – 6 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar reduction sauce to drizzle, adjust to taste
- Salt and pepper to taste
- For the tomato caprese filling:
- Place tomatoes, mozzarella pearls in a bowl with basil oil and mix well.
- Can be used immediately or refrigerated until ready to assemble.
- For the caprese stuffed avocados:
- Cut the avocados in half lengthwise. Remove pits and peel.
- Spoon filling into the avocado halves.
- Drizzle with balsamic vinegar reduction and serve immediately.
Learn more about the Caprese Stuffed Avocado.
6. Tuna Avocado Lettuce Wraps
- 1 can tuna
- ½ very ripe avocado
- 2 tbsp mayo
- ¼ cup green olives
- 2 tbsp diced green chiles
- 1 scallion
- 2 large leaves of green leaf lettuce
- Cut olives in half and dice scallion.
- Mash avocado until creamy, then mix with mayo.
- Add tuna, olives, scallion and chives to the avocado mayo mixture.
- Place one scoop of tuna salad on lettuce leaf and enjoy!
Learn more about the Tuna Avocado Lettuce Wrap.
7. Avocado and White Bean Salad with Vinaigrette
- 1 can white beans
- 1 avocado, chopped
- 1 Roma tomato, chopped
- 1/4 sweet onion chopped (optional)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- Dried basil to taste
- Garlic powder to taste
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 teaspoon mustard
- Combine all salad ingredients in a bowl.
- Whisk together all vinaigrette ingredients and pour over salad.
- Mix well. Refrigerate before serving.
Learn more about the Avocado and White Bean Salad recipe.
8. Poached Egg in Avocado
- 1 egg
- 1 avocado
- Fill bowl with cold water and crack egg into water.
- Microwave on low for 2 minutes.
- Drain egg and set aside.
- Pit avocado and place egg in hole.
- Salt and pepper to taste.
Learn more about the Poached Egg in Avocado and get more two-ingredient avocado recipes.
9. Avocado Banana Smoothie
- Avocado, chopped
- Sweet yogurt
- 2 tablespoons honey
- Place all ingredients in a blender.
- Add ice to taste and blend until smooth.
Learn more about the Avocado Banana Smoothie.
10. Black Bean, Mushroom and Avocado Breakfast Scramble
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1/4 cup diced onion
- 1 cup (4 ounces) sliced white button mushrooms
- 1 small clove garlic, finely minced
- 2 large eggs
- 1/4 cup canned black beans, rinsed (or otherwise cooked black beans)
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt + more to taste
- A couple turns freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 small avocado, diced
- A few cilantro leaves, if desired
- Saute onion and mushrooms in olive oil until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for another minute.
- Crack eggs into small bowl and whisk. Pour over veggies. Add black beans, salt and pepper.
- Stir constantly until eggs are cooked.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Scoop on plate and top with diced avocado and cilantro leaves.
Learn more about the Black Bean, Mushroom, and Avocado Breakfast Scramble recipe.
What are your favorite avocado recipes? Share your recipes for brain health in the comments below.