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Nearly 6 million Americans live with Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia. The condition affects the areas of the brain responsible for thinking, memory and language and worsens over time. Alzheimer’s disease may initially appear as mild memory loss, but as the disease progresses, it may become difficult to hold simple conversations and participate in normal daily activities. The good news is that eating the right foods can help prevent or slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.
- 1 Foods To Prevent Alzheimer Disease
- 1.1 Genetic And Environmental Factors In Alzheimer’s And Parkinson’s Diseases And Promising Therapeutic Intervention Via Fecal Microbiota Transplantation
- 2 Diet And Dementia: Study Uncovers Gut Brain Link To Alzheimer’s
- 2.1 Lifestyle Interventions To Prevent Cognitive Impairment, Dementia And Alzheimer Disease
- 3 Can Alzheimer’s Disease Be Prevented?
Foods To Prevent Alzheimer Disease
Research shows that Alzheimer’s disease is strongly linked to inflammation throughout the body. Eating an inflammatory diet high in fried foods, refined starches, sugar, saturated and trans fats, and red and processed meats may increase your chances of developing this disease as well as many other serious health conditions.
Alzheimer’s Diet How To Prevent And Reverse Cognitive Decline
Conversely, eating certain foods may reduce the risk of cognitive decline, according to the National Institute on Aging of the US Department of Health and Human Services. One study showed that eating a Mediterranean diet, which consists of foods such as salad dressing, nuts, fish, tomatoes, chicken, cruciferous vegetables, fruits, and green leafy vegetables, may reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. I understand that. (However, you should also limit high-fat dairy products, red meat, organ meats, and butter.)
Christian Morey, RD, LDN is a clinical dietitian in the Nutrition and Diabetes Education Program at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore, Maryland.
However, a recent study in mice from Temple University School of Medicine showed that switching to a healthy diet reversed the cognitive deficits associated with the previous diet. “Although this is not considered a treatment or cure, it may indicate that some cognitive impairments can be reversed by dietary changes,” Morley says.
Growing evidence suggests that following a Mediterranean diet may protect against cognitive decline and dementia. “To date, several studies have shown that individual nutrients in the Mediterranean diet reduce biomarkers of oxidative stress and positively impact cognition,” says Dr. Rezan Shari, a board-certified primary care physician.
Genetic And Environmental Factors In Alzheimer’s And Parkinson’s Diseases And Promising Therapeutic Intervention Via Fecal Microbiota Transplantation
The aging brain shows signs of cell atrophy, which is linked to three main mechanisms: decreased cerebral blood flow and oxygen supply, mitochondrial dysfunction (caused by oxidative stress), and increased inflammation. Most likely, Dr. Shari explains. The Mediterranean diet works on these three mechanisms. “To prevent brain cell atrophy, consider incorporating Mediterranean diet foods into your daily routine,” she says.
The MIND diet, which combines the Mediterranean diet and the DASH diet, also appears to be effective, Morley said. Similar to the Mediterranean diet, the MIND diet focuses on plant-based foods linked to dementia prevention and includes elements of the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop High Blood Pressure) diet. The DASH diet helps lower high blood pressure, a known risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease. The MIND Diet recommends eating the recommended amounts of the following 10 healthy food groups each week:
Morley advises eating small meals at regular intervals, every three to four hours, with a combination of lean protein, fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats. “Cut down on items that have little nutritional value, such as caffeine, alcohol, candy, potato chips, and fried foods,” she says. These seven foods and drinks may reduce your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease or slow its progression.
Eggs may have a positive effect on neurocognitive performance. In one study, egg consumption was associated with improved performance on cognitive tests that assess frontal lobe and executive function.
The Effect Of Dietary Fat Consumption On Alzheimer’s Disease Pathogenesis In Mouse Models
Coffee consumption may reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Results from the Cardiovascular Risk Factors, Aging, and Dementia (CAIDE) study found that drinking three to five cups of coffee daily in midlife reduces the risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer’s disease later in life by 65%.
Avenanthramide-C (Avn-C), an ingredient found in oatmeal, may have the ability to improve cognitive problems associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Research shows that Avn-C improves memory and behavioral deficits associated with Alzheimer’s disease.
Walnuts are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants, which help reduce inflammation throughout the body. Research shows that walnuts reduce oxidative stress, inflammation, and cell damage, all of which play pivotal roles in the development of Alzheimer’s disease.
Research shows that dark leafy vegetables may slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease, Morley says. One study found that eating one serving of these types of vegetables (such as spinach, lettuce, kale, and kale) each day slowed age-related cognitive decline. Dark leafy greens are rich in nutrients such as folic acid, phylloquinone, nitrates, alpha-tocopherol, kaempferol, and lutein, all of which have been independently linked to slowing the rate of cognitive decline.
Diet And Dementia: Study Uncovers Gut Brain Link To Alzheimer’s
A diet that includes regular fish consumption is associated with better cognitive function and slower age-related cognitive decline, Morley said. Studies have shown that people who ate at least one serving of fish per week had higher scores on memory and cognitive tests than those who did not eat fish every week.
Fruits are a source of important nutrients, fiber and antioxidants, as well as important cognitive benefits. One study showed that apples, oranges, and bananas, the most consumed fruits among Americans, protect against neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer’s disease.
If you want to reduce your chances of developing Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, there are some foods you should avoid. In addition to foods that trigger an inflammatory response, avoid these two foods and drinks that can increase the risk and progression of Alzheimer’s disease.
A cohort study of nearly 500,000 patients found that eating processed meat was a potential risk factor for dementia, with a higher intake increasing the risk. Dr. Shari recommends completely avoiding red and processed meat because of their negative effects on brain health.
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Excessive alcohol consumption and binge drinking are linked to an increased risk of dementia, Morley says. One study showed that consuming large amounts of alcohol, especially hard alcoholic beverages, may be responsible for accelerating cognitive decline in Alzheimer’s patients.
The typical Western diet (high glycemic load, high fat, especially saturated fat and trans fat) is associated with an increased risk of dementia, Morley said. Eating this way can worsen existing dementia. That’s why it’s a good idea to follow the Mediterranean or MIND diet.
Research shows that intermittent fasting may have a positive effect on cognitive decline, but the exact mechanisms involved in these effects are unclear and require more research.
Although Alzheimer’s disease cannot be reversed, there are many ways to slow the onset and progression of Alzheimer’s disease. In addition to poor diet, there are many other things that can cause Alzheimer’s disease to worsen, Dr. Shari says. These include lack of sleep, unhealthy eating habits, lethargy, forgetting to take medications, and lack of social interaction.
Foods That May Prevent Dementia
It includes lifestyle changes such as getting more sleep, becoming more active, eating healthy, reducing stress levels, and socializing with others.
You can also change your eating habits. Dr. Shari says people with Alzheimer’s should take time to eat, use mealtimes as an opportunity to connect with others, and limit distractions like electronic devices and television.
People with Alzheimer’s disease sometimes stop eating. The most common reason is forgetting to eat, Dr. Shari says. Or the person may become unable to recognize the food on their plate, Morley said. Poorly fitting dentures, new medications, or lack of physical activity can also contribute to reduced food and water intake, she says.
When changing your diet due to Alzheimer’s disease, it is also important to discuss potential interactions between certain foods and medications with your health care provider.
Lifestyle Interventions To Prevent Cognitive Impairment, Dementia And Alzheimer Disease
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, there are currently no vitamins or supplements recommended to prevent or treat Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of cognitive decline. To get enough of these brain stimulants, you need to make sure that: Your loved one stores foods such as:
Vegetables, especially cruciferous vegetables like spinach, kale, turnips, and broccoli, are strongly linked to lower levels of cognitive decline in older adults, according to a study published in the journal Neuroscience, and Here’s What It Means.
Salmon and other cold-water fish such as halibut, tuna, mackerel and sardines are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Other sources of omega-3 include beans, some nuts, flax seeds, and healthy oils such as olive oil.
Berries and dark-skinned fruits rich in antioxidants. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, fruits with the highest amount of fruit include blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, raspberries, peaches, oranges, red grapes, and cherries.
Can Alzheimer’s Disease Be Prevented?
Coffee and chocolate are surprisingly good for you. Recent studies have shown that caffeine and coffee can be used as a treatment for Alzheimer’s disease. The caffeine and antioxidants found in these two delicious foods, along with cinnamon, olive oil and curry, may help prevent age-related memory loss.
Extra virgin olive oil contains a substance called oleocanthal, which stimulates the production of important proteins and enzymes that help break down the amyloid plaques associated with Alzheimer’s disease.
Cold-pressed virgin coconut oil is a heart-healthy oil that contains no cholesterol or trans fats and increases ketone bodies. Coconut oil has been shown to improve the body’s use of insulin, increase HDL (good cholesterol), and enhance thyroid function.
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