Preventing Alzheimer’s Disease
Many studies have shown that Alzheimer’s disease can be fought before it appears. It is possible to prevent Alzheimer’s developing by healthy eating and daily activities. Find out more in the following article.
What is Alzheimer’s?
Alzheimer’s disease affects millions of people around the world. It is the most common form of dementia and is an irreversible, progressive brain disease. This neuro-degenerative disorder is characterised by memory loss and reduced mental capacities. This happens because nerve cells die and the brain becomes damaged.
Alzheimer’s normally occurs in those aged 65 or over. Those suffering from this disease can co-exist with it up to 10 years after diagnosis, though symptoms worsen over time. First discovered by two psychiatrists at the start of the last century, the initial stage of Alzheimer’s is to forget information. For example, remembering what was said in coversation.
Further symptoms of Alzheimer’s includes mental confusion, mood swings, long term memory loss, irritability, isolation and speech disorders. The cause of Alzheimer’s is still unknown. Medical treatments can not cure, only partially treat.
Habits that may prevent Alzheimer’s
As previously stated, there is currently no cure for Alzheimer’s disease or treatment to prevent it or slow it down. Scientists advise that good dietary and physical habits can help. This is so that people will not develop the disease or show as many symptoms. You should keep these healthy habits in mind:
- Reduce your consumption of trans and saturated fats: these ‘bad’ fats cause cholesterol levels to rise and the formation of harmful plaque in the brain (a characteristic of Alzheimer’s).
- Eat more vegetables, grains, and fruits: All these foods are rich in vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin B6 and folic acid. They help to prevent deterioration of the brain and reduce the risk of type II diabetes, obesity and cholesterol. All of which are linked to this disease.
- Consume 5mg of Vitamin E every day: Found in nuts, mango, papaya, avocado, tomato, red peppers, spinach and bread, this antioxidant is great for brain function.
- Take vitamin B12 : Consuming B vitamins aids memory and reduces brain atrophy. Vitamin B12 can be found in animal products and helps to lower amino acid levels that are linked to cognitive deterioration. Those over 5o should base their diet on vegetables.
- A healthy diet controls diabetes: Many studies have demonstrated that type II diabetes raises the chance of Alzheimer’s disease. This is due to high blood sugar levels affecting the brain and cognitive processes.
- Consume vegetable oils: Vegetable oils are high in Omega-3. One option could be to use flaxseed oil or fish oils, though its best to use completely natural oils rather than those with added ingredients.
- Avoid consuming vitamins with copper and iron: Too many of these ingredients are related to poor brain health. A lot of foods contain copper and iron, so it is best to ensure your added vitamins do not contain copper or iron.
- Avoid cooking in aluminum: Frying pans, pots and utensils made with aluminium are not good for your health. Aluminium foil should also be avoided if possible though there are few studies on this.
- Go for a walk three times per week: Walking for 40 minutes, three times a week at a quick pace can help lower your weight and the risk of suffering from dementia by 50%.
Photos courtesy of Bev Sykes, Andrea Nardi, Vince Alongi, Smanatha Ing, Martin Cathrae.