What food is good for ALZHEIMER




ALZHEIMER.JPG

ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE

FOODS THAT HARM

Alcohol

FOODS THAT HEAL

  • Olive oil
  • Tomatoes
  • Green beans
  • Zucchini
  • Cauliflower
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Eggplant
  • Peppers
  • Salmon
  • Mackerel

    FOODS TO LIMIT

  • Red meat, butter, and other foods with saturated fats
  • Sugary foods, such as cookies and soft drinks

    WHO’S AFFECTED

  • About 6 million North Americans
  • About 13% of people ages 65 and older have Alzheimer’s disease
  • Blacks and Hispanics are affected at higher rates than whites
  • More women than men are affected Alzheimer’s disease is the leading cause of dementia in people over the age of 65, affecting almost 6 million North Americans, and is the sixth-leading cause of death in the U
    S
    The disease is characterized by abnormal deposits of a protein called beta-amyloid (plaque) in the brain as well as by twisted fibers caused by changes in a protein called ‘tau’ (tangles)
    Before arriving at a diagnosis, tests are needed to rule out a stroke, brain tumor, and other possible causes of dementia
    Blood tests can uncover genetic markers for the disease
    The cause of Alzheimer’s disease remains unknown, but researchers theorize that chromosomal and genetic factors are responsible for some cases
    In addition, hormonal factors are being studied
    Women are afflicted more often than men; studies suggest that estrogen replacement may be protective if taken before the age of 65, but more research is needed
    Thyroid disorders are also linked to the disease

    Nutrition Connection

    Researchers are finding many links between diet and dementia, and there is evidence that some foods and nutrients are powerful allies in the battle against Alzheimer’s
    Below are ways to boost your diet to help protect against Alzheimer’s
    Go Mediterranean
    According to a 2010 Columbia University study published in the journal Archives of Neurology, people who consumed a Mediterranean-type diet were 38% less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease over the next four years
    The diet includes olive oil, fish, tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini, peppers, and green beans, and less amounts of foods with saturated fat, such as red meat and butter
    Eat fatty fish at least three times a week
    The brain is rich in DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), an omega-3 fatty acid that is plentiful in fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, halibut, herring, and sardines
    Insufficient levels of this fat have been associated with age-related dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease
    Cut down on saturated fats and sugar
    Many studies suggest that people who develop type 2 diabetes—made more likely if you eat a fatty or sugary diet—have a high risk of developing Alzheimer’s
    Get your B vitamins
    Studies have shown that people with Alzheimer’s have high homocysteine levels, and there is evidence that high concentrations of homocysteine in healthy adults may lead to Alzheimer’s
    Folate, found in legumes and cruciferous vegetables, such as cauliflower and brussels sprouts, works with vitamins B6 and B12 to help regulate homocysteine levels
    Add antioxidants
    Antioxidants, found in a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, mop up free radicals and have been touted as possible preventives of Alzheimer’s because the body’s ability to neutralize free radicals declines with age
    Recent research published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease suggests that lowering iron levels and increasing antioxidant levels can help protect the brain from the changes associated with Alzheimer’s disease
    Monitor nutrition carefully
    Those with the disease may forget to eat or eat only their favorite foods
    So their diet needs to be monitored to make sure it’s nutritionally balanced
    A multivitamin may also be advisable; high-dose supplements should not be administered unless specifically recommended by a physician
    50% to 80% of dementia cases are due to Alzheimer’s disease, making it the most common cause of dementia
    Avoid alcohol
    Even in small amounts, alcohol destroys brain cells, a loss that a healthy person can tolerate but one that can accelerate the progression of Alzheimer’s disease
    Alcohol also interacts with medications prescribed for Alzheimer’s patients

    Beyond the Diet

    Think of your brain as a muscle: The more you use it, the healthier it will be
    So, in addition to eating better, try these other tips to help ward off the effects of Alzheimer’s: Get moving
    In a study of middle-age and elderly adults with mild memory problems, those who started walking several times each week scored significantly higher on memory tests after just 6 months
    Learn something new
    Research has found that people who had spent more years in school or had worked in mentally demanding jobs stayed sharper, even when they were affected by Alzheimer’s disease
    Keep your brain agile with puzzles, games, and museum visits
    Make time for friends
    A Harvard study found that socially connected people kept more of their memory intact as they aged—up to twice as much, according to one measure