Best Foods For Dementia Patients To Eat
A well-balanced diet can significantly slow the progress of Dementia. Certain meals include nutrients that not only nourish your body but your brain also. It is a known fact that some diets can help to delay or even prevent heart disease. Doctors believe that the same is true of our brain.
Dementia patients, thankfully, are not required to follow a restrictive and unsatisfying diet. Even small changes in lifestyle and dietary habits can improve the brains health, and help our loved one suffering from Dementia.
Some foods can help alleviate a few symptoms of Dementia. However, those needs to well-balanced with moderate treats. Some suggestions are mentioned below:
The Connection Between The Digestive System And The Brain
Researchers are learning how the biochemical processes of food intake and digestion interact with changes in the brain. They are finding that the gut microbiome the community of viruses, bacteria and other microbes in the digestive system may influence the onset and progression of Alzheimers disease.
Studies in mice and humans show that the composition of the gut microbiome in Alzheimers and mild cognitive impairment is different from that in cognitively normal beings.
Changes in the gut microbiome as people age have been linked to disruptions in the immune system, persistent inflammation and chronic diseases, including neurological disorders such as Alzheimers. Researchers are exploring how these changes are related to each other and to brain changes related to Alzheimers, including neurodegeneration and the accumulation of toxic proteins beta-amyloid and tau.
Identifying the good and bad gut microbes associated with Alzheimers could help scientists learn more about the biology of the disease and develop a new way to predict and potentially treat it.
A Look At The Evidence
Studies that observed changes in thinking of people who ate the Mediterranean or MIND diet suggest it might help the brain. For example:
- In one observational study of 116 cognitively normal adults, those who followed a Mediterranean diet had thicker cortical brain regions than those who did not. These brain regions shrink in people with Alzheimers, so having thicker regions could mean cognitive benefit.
- A follow-up observational study showed lower glucose metabolism and higher levels of beta-amyloid protein both seen in Alzheimers in people who did not follow the Mediterranean diet closely, compared to those who did.
- An analysis of diet and other factors found that, after an average of 4.5 years, people who adhered most closely to the MIND diet had a 53% reduced rate of Alzheimers disease compared to those who did not follow the diet closely.
- In a similar study, following the MIND diet was associated with a substantial slowing of cognitive decline during an average of almost 5 years.
- The Age-Related Eye Disease Studies originally looked at diet and eye disease. Further analysis by the researchers showed that people who followed the Mediterranean-style diet had a lower risk of developing cognitive problems while maintaining a higher level of cognitive function.
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Can Diet Prevent Or Slow Down Dementia
We hear so much from the media about what we should or should not eat. One day blueberries are the new so-called superfood that will reduce our risk of developing dementia, the next it is the humble plum.
But what information can we rely on to be accurate? Can the food we eat really reduce our risk of developing dementia? If a person has dementia, can their diet or use of supplements influence how they experience dementia or its progression?
Knowing what and what not to eat is so confusing, the messages seem to change daily!
Person with dementia
The brain requires a regular supply of nutrients in our diet to function and remain healthy. There is growing recognition that what we eat affects the way our brains work and our mental health, as well as our physical health.
Traditionally research undertaken to investigate the connection between diet, cognitive function and risk of dementia has primarily focused on the impact of individual nutrients on brain health. Those nutrients commonly researched include: vitamins B6, B12, C, E and folic acid, as well as omega 3 essential fatty acids. The outcome of such research has been inconclusive and thus guidelines to advise on specific nutrient intakes have not been developed. In this feature well explore some of the ongoing research on this topic.
Four Pillars Of A Brain
Scientists dont yet know for certain what causes Alzheimers disease, the most common form of dementia. And there is currently no medication that can reverse it, said Dr. Uma Naidoo, the director of nutritional and metabolic psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital and the author of This Is Your Brain on Food.
But, she said, we can impact how we eat.
Research shows that people with certain conditions like heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity and diabetes are more likely than those without such conditions to experience age-related cognitive decline. And the risks of developing those conditions can be increased by poor diet and a lack of exercise, suggesting there are things you can do to lower the chances of developing dementia, Dr. Naidoo said.
Two diets in particular, the Mediterranean diet and the MIND diet both of which encourage fresh produce, legumes and nuts, fish, whole grains and olive oil have been shown in scientific studies to offer strong protection against cognitive decline.
One study, , analyzed the diets and cognitive performance of more than 5,900 older U.S. adults. Researchers found that those who most closely adhered to either the Mediterranean diet or the MIND diet had a 30 to 35 percent lower risk of cognitive impairment than those who adhered to these diets less closely.
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Its Never Too Early To Take Care Of Your Brain
You may be wondering, Am I too young to be worrying about my brain? After all, everyone misplaces keys now and then, and struggles to retrieve someones name. Isnt Alzheimers an old persons disease? Consider this: Researchers are detecting the earliest sign of Alzheimers the buildup of amyloid protein in the brains of 30-year-olds. We used to think Alzheimers began in the sixth decade of life. Now we know Alzheimers starts twenty to thirty years before the first memory lapse. We know that suffering a concussion early in life puts us at risk for dementia later. We know that those who dont have access to early child education are at a greater risk of getting Alzheimers. And, that certain genetic mutations predispose people to Alzheimers in their forties, fifties, and even their thirties.
Brain health is crucial for everyone, regardless of age.
Where To Get Help
- Your local community health centre
- National Dementia Helpline Alzheimers Australia Tel. 1800 100 500
- Dementia Behaviour Management Advisory Service Tel. 1800 699 799 for 24-hour telephone advice for carers and care workers
- Aged Care Assessment Services Tel. 1300 135 090
- My Aged Care Tel. 1800 500 853
- Cognitive Dementia and Memory Service clinics Tel. 1300 135 090
- Carers Victoria Tel. 1800 242 636
- Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centres Tel. 1800 052 222
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Risk Factors For Dementia & Alzheimers
Scientists know that genetics, environment, and lifestyle affect your risk of developing Alzheimers disease and dementia.
Alzheimers and dementia risk factors include:
- Age: As you get older, youre at greater risk of developing dementia and Alzheimers.
- Genetics: If you have a family member with dementia, you are more likely to have dementia, too. Additionally, having certain versions of genes, like apolipoprotein E 4 , increases your risk of developing Alzheimers.
- Education: People with less education have a higher chance of getting Alzheimers.
- High risk for cardiovascular disease: The same factors that affect your heart health, such as high blood pressure and heart disease, also increase your Alzheimers risk.
- Head trauma: Youre more likely to develop Alzheimers if you suffer a head injury that makes you lose consciousness.
- Alcohol abuse: Patients with alcohol-use disorder are more likely to have impaired cognition and develop Alzheimers disease.
- Sleep issues: Older adults who experience constant interrupted sleep experience Alzheimers disease more frequently.
- Poor diet: Eating the wrong foods can make it more likely that youll develop dementia or Alzheimers.
If you want to reduce your dementia and Alzheimers risk, the 16 best foods to add to and remove from your diet are:
Practical Tips To Help Someone With Dementia To Eat More
People living with Alzheimers or dementia often eat less than they used to. This can be due to medical problems associated with chewing, swallowing or digesting food.
Sometimes people just lose interest in food. This can happen for a long list of reasons including loss of taste, the ability to smell, memory loss, and thinking they have already eaten. Certain medications can also affect appetite.
The ability and want to eat tends to get worse as the disease progresses and ensuring someone living with dementia eats a nutritious meal, or eats enough, can become a real practical and emotional issue for the carer. We have compiled a list here of 8 practical tips for helping someone with dementia to eat more.
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Mediterranean Diet And Dementia
Evidence shows that a diet rich in fruit, vegetables and cereals, and low in red meat and sugar could help reduce dementia risks.
The best way to reduce your risk of dementia is to adapt various aspects of your lifestyle, including eating certain foods, taking regular exercise, not smoking, and maintaining normal blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
There is some evidence that eating a Mediterranean-style diet can reduce the risk of developing problems with memory and thinking, and getting some forms of dementia.
Mediterranean diets are traditionally high in fruits, vegetables, legumes and cereals, with moderate consumption of oily fish and dairy, and low in meat, sugar and saturated fat. Most fat in this type of diet comes from olive oil, and alcohol is consumed in moderation with meals. Research in the 1960s showed that men from Mediterranean regions who adhered to traditional diets had lower rates of heart attacks. This prompted continual investigation into the potential health benefits of the diet.
Investigations have shown that this kind of diet is associated with lower levels of stroke, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and death from any cause. They have also shown that sticking to the diet more strictly might be associated with slower rates of decline in memory and thinking.
Reduce your risk of dementia
Healthy Foods That Boost Memory
Changing dietary habits is never easy. However, avoiding foods that induce memory loss and eating more of the foods that boost memory improves your chances of enjoying all-around health.
Heres the list of foods that help boost memory for seniors and the rest of us:
- Leafy green vegetables
- Salmon and other cold-water fish
- Berries and dark-skinned fruits
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Folic Acid Vitamin B6 And B12
Deficiencies in folic acid, vitamin B6 and vitamin B12 can cause an amino acid in our body, called homocysteine, to rise. Higher than normal levels are considered to be a risk factor for a number of disease states including cardiovascular disease and dementia, and are thought to contribute to poor cognition.
However, there are no guidelines to consuming supplements of B6, B12, or folic acid individually merely to reduce the risk of dementia . Again the advice is to ensure that foods rich in B6, B12, and folate are present in the diet.
Additional Resources For Dementia And Eating Issues
Read and download the NHS helpful Dementia Care Guide Support with eating and drinking . This guide talks about the common problems those living with dementia can have at meal time, and offers some tips to resolve them.
Another great tool that carers can use is The DMAT . The DMAT enables carers to assess, select interventions and generate a person centred care plan to support mealtime eating abilities and meal behaviours in people with advancing dementia. You can learn more about the DMAT and its benefits on their website.
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Foods With A Lot Of Trans Fats
Transfats refer to a kind of unsaturated fat that has harmful effects on brain health. The ones that occur naturally in animal products are not the problem. The issue lies with the industrially manufactured Trans fats called hydrogenated vegetable oils.
Research shows that taking too much of these oils leads to poorer memory, cognitive decline, lower brain volume, and risk of dementia.
The #1 Best Diet For Dementia Says Science
Dementia can be one of the scariest parts of aging, especially because there is still so much we don’t know about how to prevent it or what causes it.
Dementia is essentially an umbrella term for a decline in memory or cognitive function, with one of the leading causes being Alzheimer’s disease. There are many other risk factors for developing dementia, including age, genetics, movement, and diet.
Although dementia and Alzheimer’s can’t be fully prevented, researchers are discovering that the food we eat can play a significant role in overall brain health, cognitive function, and even delaying dementia symptoms.
It’s important to note, however, that research has also found things like blood pressure control, increased exercise, and cognitive training to potentially play a larger role in brain health than diet. This doesn’t mean that diet doesn’t matterit just means that it’s only one part of the equation.
With that being said, studies have found that one of the best diets for brain health is the MIND diet, a combination of both the DASH and Mediterranean diet designed to help improve cognitive health.
Continue reading to learn about MIND, and for more information on dementia, make sure to check out Sure Signs You May Have Dementia, Say Studies.
Dementia Is One Of The Most Common Chronic Diseases Here Are 7 Foods You Should Add To Your Diet If You Wish To Reduce Your Risk Of Developing Dementia
Coffee has been proven to improve cognitive functions
Dementia is a disorder that shrinks the brain and causes brain cells to die. Dementia is one of the most common disorders. This disease causes a gradual fall in one’s thinking, memory, behaviour, and other brain functions. Dementia causes a lack of memory and restricts various other functions in the body. Having Dementia can severely impact everyday life.
Although there are no specific causes that can cause Dementia, studies do mention the significant impact lifestyle and environment might have. Our diet also has a huge impact on our brain and its ability to function properly.
Some studies have shown, that following a Mediterranean Diet may pose very healthy for good brain health. In this article, we discuss foods that may boost brain functions and lower your chances of developing Dementia or other chronic brain-related conditions.
7 foods that may reduce your risk of developing Dementia:
1. Green leafy
Green leafy vegetables belong to the cruciferous vegetable group and mainly constitute broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, cabbage, and so on. They are considered superfoods as they are packed with various nutrients that benefit the body and brain’s health.
We have grown up listening about the various benefits of nuts on the brain, especially almonds. Dried fruits and nuts are considered superfoods packed with various nutrients. They have been associated with improving cognitive functions in the brain.
3. Fatty fish
Foods To Reverse Dementia
Scientists remain uncertain about what causes Alzheimers disease. Researchers believe it likely develops from a combination of factors which can include genetics and family history as well as environmental and lifestyle influences. While it is not yet clear whether healthier lifestyle choices can prevent the onset of dementia and Alzheimers, scientists do agree that better diets and increased exercise can improve brain health and lower risks for other diseases.
Here are seven foods that can help support better brain health and may contribute to reducing your dementia or Alzheimers risk:
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Alzheimers Diet: 16 Foods To Fight Dementia + What To Avoid
The best diet for Alzheimers is Dr. Bredesens KetoFLEX 12/3 diet, which is a keto diet mixed with metabolic flexibility. It encourages 12-hour fasting periods every day, including at least 3 hours of fasting before bedtime.
This slightly-flexible ketogenic diet can lower your risk of developing Alzheimers disease or dementia. In the earliest stages of mental decline, an Alzheimers diet may even reverse 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.
What are the benefits of an Alzheimers diet? The benefit of an Alzheimers diet is taking control of your own health, based on science. Eating foods like green leafy vegetables, fish, nuts, and even an occasional glass of red wine can reduce your chances of developing Alzheimers.
Can Alzheimers be reversed with diet? In the earliest stages of cognitive decline, adhering to an Alzheimers diet may reverse cognitive decline. Unfortunately, theres no surefire Alzheimers cure. However, we have personally observed patients whose cognitive decline was reversed after making specific lifestyle changes, including changing their diet.
Can dementia be reversed with diet? Advanced dementia cannot be reversed with a healthy diet. However, the KetoFLEX 12/3 diet shows promise in slowing general cognitive decline and early stages of dementia.