Scientists have developed balanced diets that include healthy foods to help slow down or even prevent the onset of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. However, the composition of the diet should take place strictly under the supervision of a specialist after the examination. The Mediterranean and MIND diets are the two best diets to help prevent or worsen dementia symptoms.
These diets contain certain brain-boosting foods that can help prevent dementia, such as:
- Leafy greens;
- Fruits and vegetables;
- Nuts and Olive Oil;
- Berries and Seeds.
Some of the main factors that provoke the development of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease development are genetic predisposition, environmental influences, surgery, and lifestyle, including diet. Also, we must say that patient conditions such as hypertension, heart disease, diabetes mellitus, and obesity can lead to cognitive decline.
In this article, we will look at what diets prevent dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, as well as how individual products of these diets affect the human brain and overall well-being.
The Mediterranean diet is high in fruits, vegetables, legumes, and grains, moderate in oily fish and dairy products, and low in meat, sugar, and saturated fat.
This diet reduces levels of amyloid and tau proteins. This diet contains foods that can help reduce the likelihood of developing dementia, fight memory loss, and prevent the appearance of the stroke, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.
This type of diet is a combination of two diets such as the Mediterranean and DASH. This combination represents a considerable benefit and aims to prevent and slow down the deterioration of brain function.
Studies show that this combination of diets reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s disease by 53% in those who adhere to it.
Experts initially recommended this diet for healthy older adults. Still, in 2018 it was revised by experts and expanded so that it can be consumed by people in their octogenarians recovering from a stroke.
Let’s take a closer look at the best foods for dementia patients to eat that are contained in these diets.
A study on the effect of greens on the brain showed that the brains of people who consumed a serving of green leafy vegetables did not lose their capacity as quickly. Their thinking skills and memory remained active much longer than those who did not consume greens.
Eating greens has also been shown to be associated with slower cognitive decline in older adults due to the neuroprotective effects of certain nutrients.
Thus, the researchers concluded that eating a daily serving of greens contributes to brain health.
Fruits and Vegetables
Eating plenty of apples, bananas, and oranges can also be the best foods for dementia patients to eat.
Daily consumption of these types of fruits protects the brain’s neuronal cells from neurotoxicity, which is caused by oxidative stress. It is vital in reducing the risk of neurodegenerative disorders such as dementia and Alzheimer’s.
Some vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts are rich in B vitamins and carotenoids. All of this can reduce the level of homocysteine – amino acids, leading to decreased cognitive functions, dementia, and brain atrophy.
Nuts And Olive Oil
Olive oil and nuts contain low-saturated fats. It helps keep arteries healthy. These foods are also rich in fiber, vitamin E, and minerals. A diet rich in olive oil and nuts reduces inflammation. It helps fight beta-amyloid plaques, a common cause of dementia. In addition, these products improve the condition of blood vessels and improve cerebral circulation.
Actually, protein is also part of the dementia prevention diet. The protein diet has the following recommendations:
- Eating beans once every few days;
- Poultry meat – twice a week;
- Fish – once a week.
As an option, you can make chili from beans and turkey and consume it for several days.
All of these foods are high in protein and low in saturated fat, so this diet is good enough to support overall health, especially brain function.
Snacks are also a great addition to most diets. As for snacks, you need to eat nuts and berries. You can consume them in small amounts throughout the day between meals.
Nuts and berries are good for brain function and overall health. For example, berries such as blueberries and strawberries, in addition to helping the brain work, can also slow the onset and aggravation of the condition associated with Alzheimer’s disease.
One of the common causes of dementia and the development of Alzheimer’s disease is the poor condition of the brain vessels. Studies have shown that eating fish improves the general condition of the vessels, as well as the tiny vessels of the brain. This food is what is needed to prevent the development of dementia.
Experts advise eating 2-3 servings of fish per week, which will help keep the brain healthy for as long as possible.
Let us consider in more detail the effect of berries and seeds on the human body.
Berries such as raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, and cherries contain a flavonoid called anthocyanin. This flavonoid helps stop the progression of brain damage caused by free radicals.
These, as well as most other berries, contain antioxidants and many vitamins. This dementia prevention diet helps reduce inflammation and keep the brain functioning properly.
In terms of seeds, flax, pumpkin, and sunflower seeds are rich in antioxidants as well as nutrients like vitamin E, choline, zinc, and omega-3s.
All this slows down the deterioration of cognitive functions, such as memory, logic, and concentration.
These seeds can be consumed just like that and added to salads and desserts, for example, laying them in puddings and muffins.
A properly selected diet can prevent the deterioration of the brain, protecting it from destruction. However, only a doctor can give precise recommendations about a prevent dementia diet.
Our experienced and highly qualified Lone Star Neurology doctors help diagnose and treat many neurological diseases using modern equipment. We conduct a patient examination and, based on collecting the necessary information about the patient’s well-being, can advise the patient on a specific diet with adjustments. To make an appointment with our specialists, call us at (214) 619-1910.
We treat various neurological disorders such as:
- Diabetic neuropathy;
- Peripheral neuropathy
- Alzheimer’s disease;
- Headaches and migraines;
- Parkinson’s disease;
- Multiple sclerosis.
It is not a complete list we can help with; our neurologists deal with many diseases.
Go to our website to read more about our clinic. Check out the blog with many helpful articles about different diseases, their diagnosis, and treatment.
- Can you lose weight on a Mediterranean diet?
Yes, this diet is excellent in helping patients lose weight. Studies have repeatedly confirmed that the Mediterranean diet promotes weight loss more than other diets, such as low-fat diets.
- What are the risks of the Mind diet?
Mind diet does not pose a health risk to patients. However, before the patient decides to follow this diet, he should consult a doctor to adjust its ingredients and the amount of food consumed.
- What shouldn’t you eat with dementia?
You should consult a doctor on the list of prohibited foods, but it is not recommended to eat:
- Animal fats (margarine, poultry skin);
- Offal (liver, kidneys);
- Fat sour cream and milk;
- Mayonnaise and ketchup;
- Pastry, white bread, and sweets.
- Can I drink wine when I follow the Mind diet?
Yes, you can drink wine while on a diet. Red and white wine have been shown to benefit the brain and may even protect against the onset of dementia and Alzheimer’s. For example, experts allow to drink wine, but not more than one glass a day, with the Mind diet.