Blog Entry #125
By Anthoney J. Andersen – Steroidal.com
Most people would probably agree that one of the most terrifying things as we get older is losing the ability to remember friends, family, our histories and ourselves.
Unfortunately, this is what is happening to more than five million Americans suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.
Despite extensive research, both cause and cure for Alzheimer’s remains a mystery.
One logical area of exploration, however, is diet.
While there have been no definitive breakthroughs as of yet, experts are carefully studying certain foods that share a relationship to Alzheimer’s disease.
A healthy diet – especially for your brain – includes foods such as:
- Whole grains.
- Lean sources of protein.
“A few studies have found a correlation between high dietary fish with omega-3 fatty acid intake and a decrease in developing Alzheimer’s,” says Tara Hardwood, a registered dietician at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio.
Foods high in omega-3s include salmon, tuna, tofu, walnuts, flax seeds and shrimp.
High levels of homocysteine, an amino acid found in the blood, is associated with the risk of dementia.
One avenue that is being explored by Hardwood and her colleagues is whether increasing intake of folic acid and vitamins B6 and B12 – which breakdown homocysteine – can help prevent Alzheimer’s disease.
While no specific diet plans have been proven to prevent Alzheimer’s from taking place, nonetheless, a healthy and balanced eating plan can provide key nutrients to help with overall brain function.
Carting around a lot of extra weight can be very strenuous on your joints, your heart and other organs. The risk of developing dementia later in life increases dramatically when you’re overweight, according to a 2007 study published in the journal of Neurology.
Another theory involving the development of Alzheimer’s disease has to deal with free radicals in the body destroying the unity of the body’s cells.
These unstable cells have the ability to cause cell ageing and damage in the body.
“You can reduce your exposure to free radicals by limiting contact with the sun, environmental pollutants and cigarette smoke,” says Hardwood. “However, free radicals are a byproduct of metabolism, which occurs every minute of the day.”
Since it’s impossible to completely eliminate free radicals from the body, consuming foods that are high in antioxidants – vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene and flavonoids – can help.
Foods that are high in antioxidants include strawberries, blueberries and oranges.
Brain cells demand healthy blood flow to supply them with oxygen and nutrients.
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, packing away foods that are high in saturated fat and cholesterol can cause your arteries to become constrained, which may cause blood circulation to the brain to be restricted altogether.
Those fatty foods can also contribute to the buildup of fatty deposits in the arteries. Instead, choose a different recourse – consume foods with mono-or polyunsaturated fats, like olive oil – which can help decrease your chances of your arteries from becoming blocked.
Even though the cause of Alzheimer’s disease continues to perplex most doctors today, it’s always a good idea to maintain a healthy and well-balanced diet.
Diet and nutrition may only be a stepping-stone in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease. However, there’s a strong possibility it’s a step in the right direction.
What do you have to lose?
- “Dementia.” 2014. May. 6. MayoClinic.org
- “Food, Eating and Alzheimer’s.” 2014. April. 25. Alzheimer’s Association.
- “Mediterranean Diet and Alzheimer’s Disease Mortality.” 2007. September. 11. Neurology.org.