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Can Diet Really Help with Symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease? 10 Tips for Alzheimer’s Prevention

Posted by on Saturday, January 17th, 2015

You have no doubt hear a lot about nutrition and disease prevention in the media these days, there are even diets for specific illness prevention such as the “Heart Healthy Diet,” but can eating right really help promote Alzheimer’s Prevention,?  According to recent medical research, the answer is yes, the brain healthy diet combined with  lifestyle changes may help with Alzheimer’s prevention.

Tips for Alzheimer's Prevention

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Current Research on Alzheimer’s Prevention

Current research says that a healthy brain diet can reduce risk for conditions such as heart disease and diabetes while helping to improve blood flow to the brain-particularly when combined with a regular exercise regime (approved by your physician of course). 

According to Neal Barnard, M.D., adjunct professor at the George Washington University School of Medicine:  “Alzheimer’s disease isn’t a natural part of aging, by staying active and moving plant-based foods to the center of our plates, we have a fair shot at rewriting our genetic code for this heart-wrenching , and costly, disease.”

What is the Alzheimer’s Prevention Brain Healthy Diet?

brain boosters for Alzheimer's prevention

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 According to the most current research, a brain-healthy diet is one that reduces the risk of various diseases such as diabetes and heart disease, helps promote blood flow to the brain, and is high in anti-oxidants and low in saturated fat. In general what’s good for the heart is also good for the brain.  In general, the brain and heart need a proper balance of healthy complex carbohydrates, healthy fats like olive and fish oil, and lean protein sources such as turkey, beans and legumes.  When a brain healthy diet is combined with adequate level of social interaction and physical activity, it can delay and/or lesson symptoms such as memory loss that occur in AD.  

Studies Regarding Lowering Risks for Alzheimer’s Disease

Many recent studies have shown that a diet high in sugar and saturated fat is associated with clogged arteries, stoke and higher risk of AD.  Just like in cardiovascular disease, HDL or “good” cholesterol shows promise in providing protection to brain cells

In fact, one long term study of fifteen hundred adults indicated that those who were overweight in middle age were two times more likely to develop dementia later in life, and participants in the group who also had high cholesterol and high blood pressure were 6 times more likely to end up having dementia. 

One study of elderly women deduced that those in the group who ate the most dark green leafy and cruciferous vegetables (of the cabbage family such as broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, kale, and cabbage) during the course of the 2 year study scored higher in mentally functioning than those who ate less of these healthy vegetables. 

10 Tips for Overall Brain Health and Alzheimer’s Prevention

Preliminary guidelines to risk reduction of AD were developed at the International Conference on Nutrition and the Brain in Washington in 2013. Some of the guidelines include;

  1. Reduce or eliminate your daily intake of sugar including white table sugar, fructose, high fructose corn syrup, and supplements such as maltodextrine.
  2. Replace cooking oil such as lard or other saturated and trans-fats with olive oil and try to bake foods instead of frying. To identify unhealthy fats look for “partially hydrogenated oils” on the label of processed foods.
  3. Increase your intake of inflammation fighting antioxidants such as bright colored/dark skinned fruits and vegetables including strawberries, blueberries, eggplant, broccoli and Brussels sprouts
  4. Stay up to date on the latest research on brain health and nutrition.
  5. Eat plenty of wild caught cold water fish like salmon, halibut, tuna and mackerel.
  6. Eat a handful of nuts such as walnuts, Brazil nuts, cashews almonds or pecans each day.
  7. Replace processed foods with plant based foods such as: beans, legumes, fruits and vegetables.
  8. Adopt a regular exercise routine (optimally around 120 minutes per week) approved by your physician.
  9. Stay socially active well into your senior years. 
  10. Make sure you get approximately 8 hours of sleep each night.

Conclusion

In conclusion, although there is currently no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, more and more studies are pointing to the fact that diet and healthy lifestyle may have a dramatic impact on overall brain health and overall prevention of symptoms of AD.

For more easy to follow nutrition advice check out The Alzheimer’s Diet: A Step-by-Step Nutritional Approach to Memory Loss Prevention and Treatment, or visit theadplan.com to learn more about Neurologist, Dr. Richard Isaacson's 9 week diet plan and his cutting edge approach in the fight against AD in Alzheimer's Treatment | Alzheimer's Prevention: A Patient and Family Guide 2012 Edition. Also, sign up for the newsletter to get the latest updates in AD treatment and prevention news.

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