Foods to Fight Dementia and Alzheimer’s

Many of our clients and patients suffer from Dementia and Alzheimer’s related illnesses, so I decided to do some simple research, to see how people can try and prevent these diseases that ruin the quality of life of so many.  Among our team of carers we are fortunate to have some vast experience of caring for clients with this awful illnesses.

Dementia and Alzheimer’s

Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease are thought to be caused by a combination of genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors. Diet and nutrition can help to play a part in prevention and it’s never too late to make changes in your daily food intake and lifestyle changes. Other factors that can affect cognitive decline are certain health conditions like obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes so a healthy diet is essential. One in 14 people over 65 have Dementia or Alzheimer’s according to the NHS.

Here are 7 super foods that can help to fight off cognitive decline and help you to be healthier as you age:

1. Leafy Greens

Spinach, Kale, collard greens, rocket and Swiss chard are just some leafy greens high in essential B vitamins that can boost depression and cognitive behaviour. They are easy to add to your daily food intake in either salads, sandwiches, stews, soups, pasta, curry’s and chilli.

2. Berries

Cherries, blackberries, and blueberry’s, all contain a flavonoid called anthocyanin that stops the progression of brain damage triggered by free radicals. These three and other berries are full of vitamins and antioxidants. These ingredients help to reduce inflammation that can help to maintain brain health.

3. Nuts

Cashews, almonds, pecans, walnuts, and peanuts are loaded with Vitamin E, B vitamins, magnesium and healthy fat that promote brain health which can prevent Dementia or Alzheimer’s. A survey conducted in women over 70 years of age showed that women who had at least 5 portions of nuts per week had significant better brain health than those who didn’t. An interesting fact is that walnuts contain anti-inflammatory phytochemicals that can reduce inflamed brain cells for the ultimate brain health.

4. Omega-3s

Oily fish like tuna, mackerel, salmon, and olive oil, are high in omega 3 fatty acids and DHA, aswell as mother nature’s eggs are essential for brain health

There have been many studies that prove that omega-3s are highly effective at preventing and fighting Alzheimer’s Dementia. Many doctors recommend taking daily supplements around 200 mg a day.

5. Cruciferous Vegetables

Broccoli, sprouts, cabbage, radish, curly kale and cauliflower are high in carotenoids and B vitamins that reduce levels of the amino acid homocysteine that has been linked to Alzheimer’s Dementia, cognitive decline and brain atrophy. For a change you can lightly fry them in garlic and olive oil for a tasty side.

6. Spices

Spices like cinnamon, sage, and cumin, taste great when used to season dishes plus they contain lots of polyphenols — compounds that offer various benefits for memory and brain health. Spices such as these eat away at brain plaque and reduce inflammation to prevent cognitive decline, Dementia and Alzheimer’s.

7. Seeds

Flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds and sesame seeds all contain antioxidants and essential nutrients like vitamin E, zinc, omega-3s, and choline that reduce cognitive decline. These are easy to incorporate into your daily diet as snacks. sprinkled on salads, or added to soups and stews. Read more here!

Foods That Are Risk Factors for Dementia and Alzheimer’s

Unfortunately many foods in the Western diet are processed or refined and have been identified as high risk factors for Dementia and Alzheimer’s. These include red and processed meats, refined grains like white bread rice and flour, crisps, sugary sweets, and desserts. Also excess alcohol, saturated fatty acids, and foods with a high number of calories are also risk factors for Dementia and Alzheimer’s. If you think that you or a loved one may be at risk from Dementia or Alzheimer’s, work with your doctor to develop a healthy eating plan diet that can greatly reduces the risk. More about the symptoms here!