Diet And Alzheimer’s Disease: Eat For Your Future!
Alzheimer’s is a devastating disease that affects millions of people worldwide. There has been a lot of research done on ways to find the cause, prevention and treatment for Alzheimer’s, however, up to this day we still don’t have a definitive answer for any of the three mentioned above. Scientists are working non-stop in order to figure these questions out and while we still have a long way to go, we have figured out a few things that might help prevent Alzheimer’s. Regular brain training and exercise have been identified to prevent the cognitive decline that is highly prominent in Alzheimer’s. We know of a few methods that help us exercise the brain, including various mental activities, learning a new language etc. However, brain training and exercising the mind is not everything. Scientists have identified that our eating habits actually play a big role in the development and the progression of the disease. Diet and Alzheimer’s disease have a relationship and we need to be aware of our food choices. Putting food into your body is not just a mere way of satisfying your hunger, you should always bear in mind that our food directly affects our health – physical and mental.
Diet And Alzheimer’s Share A Relationship, But Which One?
Our body is a vessel that is given to us to do whatever we please with it. We only have one single body throughout our entire life and we need to remember that whatever we put into our body directly affects us. Of course, it would be safe to assume then, and, proven by extensive research, that there is a relationship between our diets and Alzheimer’s.
As mentioned above, we still don’t have a definitive cause for Alzheimer’s but we have identified a few markers that might be very influential in developing the disease, particularly the beta-amyloid plaques that distribute themselves in various, very important parts of the brain. Studies have found that high levels of cholesterol actually make the emergence of beta-amyloid plaques go at a much faster rate. Scientists have also seen a link between cardiovascular disease and clogged arteries, and Alzheimer’s. The plaques that clog the arteries actually might have a big effect on the plaques that have been found in the brain and are associated with Alzheimer’s.
So judging from that, a lot of people have come to the conclusion that diet does have a big effect on the disease. Of course, people who obtain a diet that is high in cholesterol and saturated fat would be more of a risk of not only developing heart disease, but also developing Alzheimer’s. So what diet is optimal that will help us fight these dangerous diseases that threaten our quality of life?
Tips For A Healthier Diet:
- Decrease the amount of processed foods and saturated fats that you consume: all of these increase cholesterol levels. Unhealthy, fried fast foods have become a regular occurrence in our diets, especially in the Western countries. Big consumption of processed fast foods and products that contain a lot of sugar might not only lead to Alzheimer’s but heart disease, stroke and many other health problems.
- Know where your food comes from: make sure that the food on your plate doesn’t have any added chemicals and preservatives that might endanger your health.
- Consider adding elements of a plant-based diet into your daily meals: scientists have found that grains, beans, fruit and vegetables actually protect against cognitive decline.
- Decrease your consumption of red meat and animal fats: many studies suggest that these products have an effect of the plaques in your brain.
- Research Mediterranean diet: yet again with more fresh produce and some fish. Try to substitute your red meat for fish – a much healthier option.
- Choose plant sources of fat: there are plenty of healthy fat sources out there and they are very easy to obtain. Nuts, olive oil, avocados all go a long way.
Ultimately, your diet is your choice, but remember that everything that you put into your body has consequences and it is up to you to see whether those consequences are good or bad.
Valerie is a psychology student who is trying to pursue a career in Cognitive Neuroscience. She is passionate about the brain and finds it fascinating. She loves learning about new discoveries and research that is going on in the world of psychology and neuroscience. One day she hopes to contribute to the scientific community!