When it comes to a disease like Alzheimer’s, there is no one-size-fits-all diet cure for treatment. And what works for one person may not work for another. However, some general dietary guidelines can help reduce the disease’s risk.
Remember, changing your diet is only one part of an overall plan to reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s disease – don’t forget to exercise regularly and keep mentally active. And to prevent your risk of dementia in advance, visit your doctor and get the necessary tests.
There are around 27 million people in the world currently who have Alzheimer’s disease, and the number could quadruple by 2050. Unfortunately, little attention has been paid to this problem in our world. The latest scientific research has shown that the emergence and development of this severe disease are preventable, and the primary way to prevent Alzheimer’s is through a proper diet.
In this article, we’ll talk about what a diet for Alzheimer’s prevention is and share some tips on how to make it right.
What Are the Foods That Can Fight Memory Loss?
Suppose you want your mind to be sharp. In that case, you not only need to train it with logical tasks, but you also need to keep the brain diet. If you purposefully make a diet of certain foods, it is pretty realistic to improve memory, increase concentration, facilitate and accelerate mental work, and simply improve your well-being. The brain needs merely:
- polyunsaturated fats;
- vitamin C.
Also, many other vitamins, amino acids, antioxidants, minerals, and other substances improve their function and provide energy. All these substances can be obtained from food by organizing your health brain diet correctly.
So what are the foods our brain loves?
1. Green tea
In addition to its tonic effect, green tea contains the rare amino acid L-theanine. This substance acts as a neurotransmitter – it transmits electrical impulses between body cells, from nerve endings to the brain. Green tea helps reduce anxiety and alleviate depression. L-theanine enhances performance and improves cognitive brain functions by increasing blood flow. Note that green tea can lower blood pressure, so it is not recommended to drink it in the morning on an empty stomach. This drink can be suitable for an Alzheimer’s prevention diet.
The fatty acids – lauric and capric – make coconut and unrefined cold-pressed coconut oil one of the best foods for dementia patients to eat. They help its cells to fight aging by improving their function. Coconut oil is recommended for the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease. It is not necessary to eat it with a spoonful. It can be added to oatmeal or fried instead of vegetable oil and baked at low temperatures.
Lentils are high in vegetable protein and contain folic acid, iron, and B vitamins. They support biochemical processes in the brain and improve memory and reaction speed. Iron helps supply oxygen to the brain, essential for concentration and fighting fatigue.
David Toman, the founder of Nootropics Expert, has spent more than a decade studying nootropics – substances that affect mental function, including memory and comprehension abilities. He cites the avocado as an important neuro stimulant because of its pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), which is responsible for long-term memory. That’s why it is suitable for diet for dementia. The acid is also found in dairy products, mushrooms, yams, shellfish, and fish, but in much smaller amounts. The deficiency of pantothenic acid leads to fatigue, depression, and dyspeptic disorders. Regular vitamin intake helps produce antibodies that protect the brain against harmful substances.
Spinach has the highest lutein content of all fruits and vegetables. It is foods that can fight dementia, prevent eye diseases, slowing down degenerative processes in the brain. Spinach is also rich in folic acid (vitamin B9), which improves memory and cognitive functions. Spinach is best eaten fresh, as heat treatment reduces the plant’s beneficial properties.
Cocoa beans are used to make chocolate, but a cup of cocoa without sugar is better for memorizing material or working on a serious project. Cocoa is considered a nootropic which is Alzheimer’s diet cure. The drink contains many brain-healthy substances, including magnesium, flavonoids, and tryptophan. Magnesium acts as a fuel for the body’s cells, eliminates nervousness, and helps you focus. The flavonoids in cocoa help strengthen and dilate blood vessels, which increases blood flow and makes the brain work better. A study by Professor Franz Messerli, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, confirms that regular cocoa consumption improves memory. In his research ‘Chocolate Consumption, Cognitive Function and Nobel Laureates’, the scientist claims that most of the prestigious prize winners are home to countries where a lot of cocoa is consumed.
7. Walnuts are Foods for Memory
They slow down the aging process in the body. They improve brain function. They contain high levels of polyunsaturated acids. Vitamins B1, B2, C, PP, carotene. Trace elements – iron, iodine, cobalt, magnesium, zinc, copper. They also contain juglone (a valuable phytoncide substance).
To boost brain capacity, we consume coffee and tea. It does help, but only if you drink it in moderation – no more than two cups a day. If you overindulge in coffee, the “reward” will be a loss of reaction and mental clarity.
On the other hand, a few drops of ginseng tincture will improve mental performance without adverse effects. The effects of ginseng last longer than those of caffeine and tannin, but you should not abuse it. Just a few drops per glass of water, no more than two times a day, is sufficient for Alzheimer’s prevention diet.
What Vitamins and Supplements to Add to an Alzheimer’s Prevention Diet?
Scientific research suggests that people in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease may benefit from fish oil and antioxidant supplements.
The research presents that the immune system cells of subjects with mild cognitive impairment after taking the supplements are more effective in “clearing” the brain of – amyloid – a peptide. Its accumulation in the brain is crucial in developing Alzheimer’s disease. You can see the whole list of supplements for the brain diet below.
Vitamin B12 can be taken in supplements, and the daily allowance for adults is 2.4 micrograms. It is highly recommended for a dementia diet. Blood levels of vitamin B12 are checked regularly through a standard test, as several factors interfere with the absorption of the vitamin in the human body, and one of these factors is age.
“Low vitamin D levels in the elderly were associated with a more rapid decline in cognitive function, particularly in the area of the brain responsible for memory, the impairment of which is associated with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia”, – reports a study of American scientists published in the journal JAMA Neurology.
The results showed that cognitive decline in subjects with vitamin D deficiency was 2-3 times faster than in those with adequate vitamin status. In other words, the cognitive function of vitamin D-deficient issues declined in just two years, as did subjects with normal vitamin D status over five years. Add vitamin D to the foods that fight memory loss.
Vitamin C deficiency causes connective tissue dystrophy in the body, slowing down or stopping collagen production. Vitamin C deficiency affects the balance of enzymes required for the functioning of organs and systems. The vitamin acts as a catalyst for metabolic processes. It protects the body and brain against mental or physical stress. It is beneficial in preventing Alzheimer’s disease.
What Foods Cause Memory Loss?
Salt, meat, butter – we consume these and other products almost daily. On Friday evenings or weekends, we eat a hamburger or pastry from the nearest delicatessen. It turns out that these foods are not only good for us: some of them make us less attentive, and others can even degrade our mental faculties to a minimum. Below, you can see a complete list of foods that cause memory loss.
Jerky and Sausages
Sausages, which we eat as part of sandwiches, pizza, or with eggs, distract our attention. It is not only due to their high salt content but because of protein and nitrogen. The components create a dehydrating effect, and we become disorganized. So, all you need to do to focus is drink more water than usual: a normal amount of liquid will increase your thinking speed by 14%. Water removes salt and nitrogen and is a useful energy source for the brain. Water is also responsible for producing dopamine and norepinephrine, which is important for the brain diet and responsible for transmitting nerve impulses.
Red meat is high in saturated fats, which harm brain activity and memory. One experiment showed that women whose diets were dominated by monounsaturated fats (e.g., avocados, nuts) showed higher cognitive abilities.
Those who ate saturated fats (including red meat) had worse results. Another research (5,038 participants) found that a diet rich in red meat contributed to a more rapid decline in mental acuity over 10 years.
Chewing gum reduces your ability to remember, so it’s a bad choice for a dementia diet. Nevertheless, you don’t have to part with the universal breath freshener. Gum should not be chewed only during the learning process. The movements we make while chewing prevent us from concentrating on remembering at a particular moment, which means that our short-term memory function is weakened.
Like red meat, it is high in saturated fats. Butter consists of approx. 26% monounsaturated fats, 4% polyunsaturated fats, and approx. 60% saturated fats. A diet high in cholesterol and saturated fats causes inflammation in the brain and destroys the structure of proteins that regulate nerve cell function. All these foods cause memory loss and lead to impaired memory function.
Tofu is a superfood able to satisfy the protein requirements of vegetarians and people on different diets. Tofu has the most beneficial effect on young people. Older people (aged 68 or older) who ate tofu at least once daily were noted to have memory problems. The phytoestrogens in large quantities in tofu may increase the risk of dementia. So, it’s surely not the best food for dementia patients to eat.
Giving up foods high in carbohydrates makes it difficult for your memory to function after just one week on a diet. The brain needs glucose to function, which it draws from carbohydrates (e.g., potatoes, pasta). This substance is stored in the body in the form of glycogen. As a result of this mistakenly perceived brain health diet, there is less fuel to work properly. The negative effects of such a diet are felt when the glycogen reserves are used up.
In addition to memory, attention span and reaction speed will also decrease. One experiment showed that cognitive abilities return to normal once carbohydrates are introduced into a diet. Want to get your body in shape? Opt for diets that reduce calories rather than carbohydrates.
Tuna meat contains mercury, which tends to accumulate in fish and humans. Systematic exposure to this metal kills brain cells and causes irreversible changes in the nervous system. Fine motor skills and the ability to concentrate are affected.
For a woman weighing about 65 kg, 120-130 g of fish per week is sufficient to have this effect. If this is your favorite type of fish, choose the canned version as food for memory due to the much lower mercury content with this type of processing.
Flakes with milk or yogurt – is that a healthy breakfast? Cereal is unhealthy because it contains too much sugar. Many of them contain the preservative butylhydroxytoluene. It interferes with the hormones responsible for transmitting signals from the stomach to the brain. It also contributes to the development of obesity. The preservative is dangerous in large quantities, so you should not abuse cereal.
The same applies to granola and granola bars. For example, 100 g of the latter contains 15 g of sugar. It is comparable to a full cup of vanilla ice cream. Excess sugar affects the brain in the following way: it causes a loss of self-control, followed by overeating and weight gain.
Some Vegetable Oils
If the oil is bad for the brain diet, it seems logical to replace it with vegetable oil. Rapeseed, sunflower, and soybean oils have omega-6 fatty acids, which are suitable for skin, hair, and bones. But the amount of omega-6 should be balanced by the amount of omega-3 acids. An excess of the former causes inflammation in the body, while the latter has an anti-inflammatory effect, meaning the acids counterbalance each other.
Excess omega-6 leads to inflammatory processes, which increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and memory impairment. You should not give up sunflower oil, but you can reduce their intake and introduce oils rich in omega-3 acids (e.g., olive oil) into your diet.
Do you like melted cheese on toast? This classic product of the so-called western diet contains large quantities of saturated fats, many additives, salt, and sugar. All these foods increase the risk of neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease, and cause memory loss. For example, Japanese people who ate a Western diet were more likely to get the condition than those who ate other foods.
Only the consumption of toasted cheese, which is essentially a cheese product, should be restricted. Regular cheese, especially low-fat cheese (ricotta, mozzarella), protects brain cells from degenerative aging.
You have learned the best foods to prevent Alzheimer’s. Following the proper diet can reduce the risk of cognitive impairment, Alzheimer’s, cardiovascular, and many other diseases.
The specialists at Lone Star Neurology will advise and find the best solution for any problem in the area of neurological disorders.
- What keeps Alzheimer’s away?
Try yoga, meditation, warm baths, nature walks, or breathing exercises. It is also essential to watch your diet and stress. In addition to exercising your body, it is advisable to train your brain by solving non-standard concerns. Changing your lifestyle according to these rules will significantly reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s disease!
- Do eggs prevent Alzheimer’s?
Eggs have an organic compound called choline, which can protect us against Alzheimer’s disease. It is good for a dementia diet, the liver, and for avoiding memory lapses. If you suffer from forgetfulness and can’t remember where to put your keys, include hard-boiled eggs in your diet or start the day with a fried egg.
- Does coffee cause Alzheimer’s?
Research has shown that coffee reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. Drinking 3-5 cups of coffee daily reduces the risk of dementia by 65%. According to research, people who drink coffee are 20% less likely to suffer from depression and 53% less likely to commit suicide.
- Are bananas good for Alzheimer’s?
Bananas help to improve concentration and mental performance. Such foods fight dementia lift your mood, calm your mind, and will be good for replenishing glycogen stores in the body. Studies have shown that eating bananas reduces blood pressure, the risk of stroke, and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s.