Recent studies suggest that patients with Alzheimer’s or dementia is steadily increasing. In fact, did you know that after the age of 65, the chance of getting these diseases doubles for an individual every 5 years as they age. Additionally, when you consider that between 2010 and 2050 the elder population in America will nearly double thanks to baby boomers becoming senior citizens, it’s no doubt that you or someone you love is likely to be affected by a memory related disease.
If you have concerns about Alzheimer’s or dementia affecting you or someone you love, you’ll be happy to know that nutrition can play a huge role in both the development and onset of memory related illnesses. The reason for this is two-fold. While memory diseases don’t require special diets and individuals diagnosed with these issues don’t need to make changes specifically for their brain or memory functions, often people who recollection difficulties will forget to eat. A well balanced diet is needed to provide healthy brain function. So, eating healthy and getting enough nutrients to support brain function is obviously important. Additionally, there have been a variety of foods that can be incorporated that have been showing promising benefits for patient’s with Alzheimer’s or dementia. Read on to find out more about these foods and how they can help cognitive skills and abilities.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Because of its beneficial effects on heart health, omega-3 fatty acids have had a lot of research done on them recently. One of these benefits is its effect on brain functions. Omega-3 fatty acids, especially the variety known as DHA, which is found in fatty fish seems to be the key. DHA is used by the body for brain development and is believed to contribute to its continued health. Additionally, all forms of omega-3 fatty acids, including those found in flaxseed and olive oil work as an anti-inflammatory and may contribute to reducing protein buildup on the brain which can contribute to the symptoms of Alzheimer’s or dementia in people.
Foods Rich in Vitamins C and E
One of the by-products of a long life is free radicals, the unstable molecules that build up and cause cellular damage. Like any other part of your body, your mind can also absorb too many of these free-radicals and take damage from it, which can contribute to mental decline.
One of the ways our body cleanses itself of these unstable molecules is with anti-oxidants. Foods that are good sources of antioxidants include vitamin C rich foods such as broccoli, red pepper or strawberries, and vitamin E rich foods such as almonds, or olive oil. A recent study, researchers found that people who consumed high amounts of vitamin E foods had an amazing 67% lower chance of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
Foods High in Folate
For many years physicians have known that a diet lacking B vitamins, especially folate, can cause a person to have difficulties with cognitive functions. Recent studies have shown us that part of this may be caused by folates ability to balance homocysteine levels, an amino acid which can impair memory and cognition and is believed to dramatically increase a person’s risk Alzheimer’s and heart disease. The vitamin folate can be found in most dark green plants including spinach and green beans.
This was first discovered when researchers noticed that countries that use Curries in their cuisine also had a considerably lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Once further studies were done, it was concluded that Turmeric, which is the prime ingredient of curry, was the reason for this. Turmeric contains a compound called curcumin which is a powerful antioxidant, anti-amyloid, and anti-inflammatory. This powerful combination binds itself to amyloid proteins and prevents them from causing plaque, and eventual mental decline.
ComfortCare Homes of Wichita, KS provides memory care services to the following cities and neighborhoods:
Wichita, Derby, Augusta, El Dorado, Newton, Hutchinson, Pretty Prairie, Kingman, Norwich, Conway Springs, Belle Plaine, and the surrounding areas of Kansas.Previous: Residential Caregivers Help Patients with Alzheimer’s Get the Sleep They Need
I cannot say enough good things about Maurita & Susan (CareGivers) at 219. They are always caring & cheerful & positive. They have gone out of their way (I feel above & beyond) to help my aunt adjust to her new home. They call me at the first sign of any concerns or changes in my aunt. They treat her as part of their family. I am very grateful every day that my aunt is in their care. It is comforting to know she is where she belongs. I feel like they are a great team!
- Carla Barnard