Foods To Limit: Red Meat
How Much Should You Eat?
Fewer than four servings per week.
Why Should You Avoid It?
What’s the link between red meat and brain health? While Alzheimer’s disease rates are rising worldwide, it’s rising more slowly in countries that eat little red meat such as Japan and India. One recent study combed over the medical literature and performed a new study to look into this association. They found that eating less red meat could be the best diet change for avoiding Alzheimer’s, a form of dementia.
Targets Of Alzheimer’s Disease Prevention Research
Researchers are exploring these and other interventions that may help prevent, delay, or slow Alzheimer’s dementia or age-related cognitive decline. Other research targets include:
- New drugs to delay onset or slow disease progression
- Diabetes treatment
- Blood pressure- and lipid-lowering treatments
- Sleep interventions
- Vitamins such as B12 plus folic acid supplements and D
- Combined physical and mental exercises
Diet And Dementia Risk
Changes in the brain can occur years before the first symptoms of Alzheimer’s appear. These early brain changes suggest a possible window of opportunity to prevent or delay dementia symptoms. Scientists are looking at many possible ways to do this, including drugs, lifestyle changes and combinations of these interventions. Unlike other risk factors for Alzheimers that we cant change, such as age and genetics, people can control lifestyle choices such as diet, exercise and cognitive training.
How could what we eat affect our brains? Its possible that eating a certain diet affects biological mechanisms, such as oxidative stress and inflammation, that underlie Alzheimers. Or perhaps diet works indirectly by affecting other Alzheimers risk factors, such as diabetes, obesity and heart disease. A new avenue of research focuses on the relationship between gut microbes tiny organisms in the digestive system and aging-related processes that lead to Alzheimers.
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Alzheimers Diet: 16 Foods To Fight Dementia + What To Avoid
The best Alzheimers diet is Dr. Dale Bredesens KetoFLEX 12/3 diet. This slightly-flexible ketogenic diet can lower your risk of developing Alzheimers disease or dementia, especially in the earliest stages of cognitive decline.
This revolutionary diet also encourages 12-hour fasting periods so the body has more time to repair cell damage. Make sure to not eat within 3 hours of going to bed either.
By eating foods such as green leafy vegetables, fish, nuts, and even an occasional glass of red wine, you can reduce your chances of developing Alzheimers.
Omega 3 And Oily Fish
Omega 3s essential fatty acids have an important part to play in the structure of our brain cells, helping to maintain the health and functioning of our brain. Research undertaken as part of the Older People And n-3 Long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid study supported the view that eating oily fish is associated with better cognitive function in later life, but recommended further work to clarify the impact of these essential omega 3 oils on the brain .
We need omega 3 oils from food as they cannot be made efficiently by the body. Oily fish is a rich source of omega 3s essential vitamins and minerals and it is recommended that we have at least one portion of oily fish a week. Guidelines vary though according to the individual see the Food Standards Agency website, www.eatwell.gov.uk/healthydiet/fss/fats/ for further information. Omega 3 oils may also be found in vegetarian sources such as linseeds, rapeseed oil, walnuts and soya beans.
The European Commission-funded LipiDiDiet project is researching the impact of omega 3 and other key nutrients on the risk of developing Alzheimers disease and vascular dementia. Results should be available in 2015. For more information go to www.lipididiet.eu
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Amazing Benefits Of Exercise
The MIND diet is also different from other popular plans because theres no calorie counting and no food groups are eliminated. The paleo diet and ketogenic diet are more restrictive than the MIND diet, says Vanessa Rissetto, RD, a nutritionist based in Hoboken, New Jersey. Both of these popular diets minimize the consumption of whole grains, and paleo omits dairy, too. The MIND diet, on the other hand, isnt overly restrictive and emphasizes an increased intake of foods with cognitive benefits. As a result, youre still able to enjoy your favorite meats, sweets, and wines in moderation.
Keep in mind that while this approach is particularly beneficial to those with a higher risk for Alzheimers disease or dementia, you dont have to be older or have a family history of the disease to benefit from this diet. Anyone can benefit from the MIND diet due to its overall healthy eating pattern, and there are no negative side effects, explains Kerkenbush.
Because this diet is plant-based and includes many different types of food, it is generally easy to stick with, whether youre preparing meals at home or dining out. However, following this diet may result in a slightly higher grocery bill because of the emphasis on berries and nuts, which can be pricier than some packaged, less-healthy snacks.
Whats New In The Fight Against Alzheimers
Research into new Alzheimers treatments has been slow in the last 15 years, although new treatments and innovations are appearing. Treatment, whilst absolutely key, is only half the battle. Dementia is absolutely not a normal part of aging, so future focus should surely be on prevention methods, rather than treatment.
The bottom line then, is that positive lifestyle choices are still the most influential factor in Alzheimers prevention.
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The Brain Food Groups Of The Mind Diet
Taking a broad look at the foods we eat the MIND diet breaks down the healthiest most healthy food types into 10 categories. The MIND diet food list also contains groups of five types of foods you should stay away from to protect your brain health. Along with these food groups, the diet suggests how much of each food should be consumed . Read the following slides to see what foods may protect your mind and memory.
Can Controlling High Blood Pressure Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease
Controlling high blood pressure is known to reduce a person’s risk for heart disease and stroke. The NASEM committee of experts concluded that managing blood pressure when it’s high, particularly for middle-aged adults, also might help prevent or delay Alzheimer’s dementia.
Many types of studies show a connection between high blood pressure, cerebrovascular disease , and dementia. For example, it’s common for people with Alzheimer’s-related changes in the brain to also have signs of vascular damage in the brain, autopsy studies show. In addition, observational studies have found that high blood pressure in middle age, along with other cerebrovascular risk factors such as diabetes and smoking, increase the risk of developing dementia.
Clinical trialsthe gold standard of medical proofare underway to determine whether managing high blood pressure in individuals with hypertension can prevent Alzheimer’s dementia or cognitive decline.
One large clinical trialcalled SPRINT-MIND found that lowering systolic blood pressure to less than 120 mmHg, compared to a target of less than 140 mmHg, did not significantly reduce the risk of dementia. Participants were adults age 50 and older who were at high risk of cardiovascular disease but had no history of stroke or diabetes.
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Old News: The Mediterranean Diet Is Beneficial
One factor that a number of studies have converged on is a Mediterranean-style diet. This diet includes
- red wine in moderation.
Now, if youre like me and you happen to like all these foods, then you have all the information you need to eat a brain-healthy diet. On the other hand, if youre not crazy about everything on the list, perhaps you would rather eat just the most important components. Researchers have, in fact, been trying to determine the key parts of this diet for a number of years.
For example, one study and compared healthy older adults who followed a Mediterranean diet with extra olive oil or extra nuts versus a control reduced-fat diet. The enhanced Mediterranean diet groups fared equally well, and both had better cognitive performance outcomes than the reduced-fat diet group. No study, however, has been able to determine the critical components of the Mediterranean diet that makes it so good for your brain until now.
What Else Can I Do To Prevent Alzheimers Disease
Drs Sherzais 5 strands of Alzheimers prevention give us an excellent starting point and identify lifestyle changes we can all make.
They even highlight that implementing just one of the following additions can reduce your Alzheimers risk, but when applied all together can reduce your risk by up to 90 percent!
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Choosing Other Brain Healthy Foods
What Are Risk Factors
A risk factor is something that may increase the chance of developing a disease. Some risk factors can be controlled while others cannot. For example, a person is not able to control their age, which is the greatest known risk factor for Alzheimers and related dementias. Another uncontrollable risk factor is a persons genes. Genes are structures in our bodys cells that are passed down from a persons birth parents. Changes in genes even small changes can cause diseases.
Race and gender are also factors that influence risk. Research shows that African Americans, American Indians, and Alaska Natives have the highest rates of dementia, and that risk factors may differ for women and men. Researchers are investigating whats behind these differences.
However, people do have control over their behavior and lifestyle, which can influence their risk for certain diseases. For example, high blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart disease. Lowering blood pressure with lifestyle changes or medication can help reduce a persons risk for heart disease and heart attack.
For Alzheimers and related dementias, no behavior or lifestyle factors have risen to the level of researchers being able to say: This will definitely prevent these diseases. But there are promising avenues.
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Give Your Brain Strong Relationships
Your brain thrives when you are talking and spending time with those you love. Building and maintaining strong relationships with others is vital to your health and may even reduce your risk of dementia by 26%, according to a study in the American Journal of Public Health.
Action Strategy: Make healthy relationships a priority. Feeling safe and connected can improve your brain health so offer your love and time freely but also set limits on spending time with people who may be toxic.
Dr Zoe Says Walking Can Reduce Risk Of Dementia
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Dementia is a term used to describe a group of symptoms affecting memory, thinking and social abilities severely enough to interfere with your daily life. It isn’t a specific disease, but several diseases can cause dementia. A study has found a surprising food type which for non-overweight individuals, could put them at risk of developing the brain degenerative condition.
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Key Nutrients For Better Brainpower
Fueling up with flavonoid-rich produce may indeed benefit the mind. Blueberries, strawberries, and blackberries appear to prevent cognitive aging in women by up to two and a half years, according to an earlier study published in the Annals of Neurology. Likewise, theres a link between eating leafy green vegetables such as kale, spinach, and collard greens and lower inflammation and oxidative stress, two factors that are associated with Alzheimers disease, per a previous study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Both types of food are rich in antioxidants and can help reduce inflammation and oxidative stress.
Oxidative stress occurs when antioxidant defenses are low and the body cant fight toxic molecules called free radicals. This stress causes cell damage in the brain and throughout the body, and it has been linked with several diseases, including Alzheimers and cancer.
Diet May Help Prevent Alzheimers
MIND diet rich in vegetables, berries, whole grains, nuts
Newly published research suggests that a specific diet called the MIND diet may reduce the incidence of brain disease that increases a persons risk in developing Alzheimers disease.
The recent study shows that the MIND diet lowered the risk of Alzheimer’s by as much as 53 percent in participants who adhered to the diet rigorously, and by about 35 percent in those who followed it moderately well according to a paper published online on March 19 in the journal Alzheimers & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimers Association.
Developed by Martha Clare Morris, PhD, a Rush nutritional epidemiologist and her colleagues, the MIND diet is a hybrid of the Mediterranean and DASH diets. Both diets have been found to reduce the risk of cardiovascular conditions, like hypertension, heart attack and stroke. Some researchers have found that the two older diets provide protection against dementia as well.
The MIND diet is also easier to follow than, say, the Mediterranean diet, which calls for daily consumption of fish and three to four daily servings of each of fruits and vegetables, Morris said.
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Foods And Beverages High In Flavonoids
To defend themselves from solar radiation and hungry herbivores, plants have created an arsenal of protective chemicals called polyphenols. Flavonoids are among the toughest of these, and they also fall into the antioxidant category.
Flavonoid-rich fruits include apples, blueberries, cranberries, and grapefruit. Vegetables that boast flavonoids include asparagus, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, garlic, kale, kohlrabi, kidney and lima beans, onions, peas, and spinach. One study found that people who drank fruit and vegetable juices such as orange, apple, or tomato three times a week were less likely to develop Alzheimers disease. An animal study showed that pomegranate juice halved the risk of Alzheimers disease in rats. Other studies show that the more flavonoids a person eats, the lower the likelihood of developing dementia.
Foods That Can Fight Dementia And Alzheimers Disease
Dementia and Alzheimers disease are thought to be caused by a combination of genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors including diet and nutrition. Health conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, and obesity may also contribute to cognitive decline, and are often affected by the foods you eat. Practicing good nutrition and eating lots of healthy foods is shown to help reduce your risk of dementia and Alzheimers disease as you become older.
Here are 7 foods that can fight off cognitive decline and help you stay healthy as you age:
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What Foods Prevent Alzheimers
As managing our blood flow is good news for the brain, foods that contribute to lowering blood pressure are on the menu for Alzheimers prevention.
All kinds of beans are key as they have been shown to reduce stroke risk, lower cholesterol and regulate blood glucose.
Berries by far the most delicious way of keeping our brains safe, Harvard research shows they can lower the risk of cognitive decline.
Coffee perhaps the best news to be found here, caffeine can help stimulate protective neurochemicals in the brain such as acetylcholine. As much as this may tempt us to hit the coffee machine all through the day, it is important to avoid caffeine in the afternoons, to ensure we get the all important restorative sleep we need to further stave off cognitive decline.
Quinoa this supergrain contains fibre, zinc, vitamin E, phosphorus and selenium, whilst also being a great source of protein. These are all great for building brain cells!
Other foods on the Alzheimers prevention menu are:
- Leafy green veg
- Dark chocolate
For a more detailed lowdown on how each of these foods can contribute to Alzheimers prevention head here.
Discover The Alzheimers Prevention Diet
One of the best ways you can feed your brain for better memory is by avoiding a diet high in trans-fat and saturated fat. These fats, such as those from animal products , can cause inflammation as well as produce free radicals. As you probably know, free radicals are a normal by-product of your metabolism, but in high quantities, they can damage and even kill your valuable brain cells.
Eating foods that are high in antioxidants like vitamins C and E is a wonderful natural way to eliminate free radicals from your body. In a similar way, scientists believe that a vast intake of fruits and vegetables, eating fish rich in omega-3 oils and vegetarian protein substitutes are protective against memory loss.
In addition to your renewed Alzheimers diet, read on to find out more about the best vitamins and nutrients to aid your memory and avoid Alzheimers disease early symptoms.
The ideal prevention diet breaks down like this:
- 20% good fats. Items in this group include extra virgin olive oil, avocado, and flax seed oil
- 40% lean proteins. Look to include fish, chicken, turkey, and soy on a daily basis.
- 40% complex carbohydrates. Discover the rewards of a rainbow of fresh vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and fresh fruits.
- Superfoods for the brain as much as you want! These superfoods, including blueberries, spinach, and seaweed, have fabulous antioxidant properties preventing causes of Alzheimers.
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