Foods That May Prevent Alzheimer’s

Foods that may prevent Alzheimer’s ! Are there such foods ? November is Alzheimer’s Awareness Month !  We just had a friend whose mom died of Alzheimer’s this week.  The funeral is tomorrow, so this post is dear to my heart. Like every other disease , some people are more prone to  Alzheimer’s than others.  Genetic make up, environment, family history, gender  can all be risk factors.  While you may not to be able to control the condition, you may be able to delay onset and progression of the disease through lifestyle changes. I will be talking specifically about foods and natural supplements that may help protect against Alzheimer’s  and lessen, delay progression of the condition.

Understanding Alzheimer’s

A brain condition that slowly but surely deteriorates mental, emotional and finally even physical function. Some have called it a painless way of not remembering the bad memories  in  life. Watch this beautiful video to  understand what I mean.

 Fortunately Alzheimer’s 

BTW, I first glimpsed  this video on a fellow health foodie’s site called ClinicalPosters.com. If you want some high quality health and human anatomy posters you may want to check out this site. There are nice  informative blog posts on Health & Nutrition too !! 

 

Foods That May Prevent Alzheimer’s ( generally good for brain  foods)

Turmeric aka curicumin  : This culinary spice  is gaining a lot of popularity. Studies have shown lower incidence of Alzheimer’s in countries where this spice is used liberally. The study reports indicate that extracts of turmeric contain a number of natural agents that block the formation of beta-amyloid, the substance responsible for the plaques that slowly obstruct brain function in Alzheimer’s disease. A general immune system booster due to its high antioxidant capacity, turmeric is 5 to 8 times stronger than vitamins C and E.

How to use : Use liberally in chili,  curries and in soups. You can use it in egg salad, chicken salad and to flavor rice. I have a lemon, turmeric flavored rice and a lentil chili with spinach and curicumin which are infused with turmeric and taste delish!

Beets : Beet  juice can increase perfution or blood flow to the brain in older adults. Beets are high in nitrites and research has found that nitrites can help open up the blood vessels in the body, increasing blood flow and oxygen specifically to places that are lacking oxygen as in Alzheimer’s , Beet juice is good for lowering blood pressure too ! 

 


Fatty Fish : Cold water fish like tuna, trout, mackerel and salmon are packed with omega-3 fatty acids that help protect brain cells. If you can’t eat too much fish regularly, take a fish oil supplement

 

Walnuts : Are loaded with DHA which works like the fish. Brain protection in a nut. Great for vegans who can’t eat fish. People who have the most DHA floating in their blood seem to be less prone to develop the disease.

Supplements : These are natural supplements that can help brain function and prevent degeneration but as will all supplements check with your doctor if you wish.

Vitamin E:  This vitamin is supposed to regenerate brain cells. It helps shied neurons from free radicals that damage cells. Recommended amount is 2000 iu in the form of d-alpha tocopherols form which is the most effective absorbable form.

Ginko : maximizes the blood flow to the brain and help protect from free radicals.

Coenzyme Q10 : Protects mental energy. This is especially good for people who have the beginning stages.  As the condition progresses, patients become less mentally energetic. It helps stop destruction of neurons. Recommended amount is 100 mg/day

Resveratrol : Also known as the brain saving pill, inhibits the formation of sticky harmful deposits in the brain linked to Alzheimer’s . This little pill has so many other benefits as well ! It’s on my daily regimen. recommended amount is 25-50 mg/day

Vitamin D : Is the new black for everything possible. Studies have shown that this potent vitamin can  work by activating certain genes and cell signaling networks to ramp up the immune system, which then clears away a key component of amyloid plaques called amyloid-beta protein. Even more interesting is the fact that it seems to work better in conjunction with curicumin. 

 

Other remedies

Regular exercise increases blood flow to the brain. Keeping the mind active with brain exercises  and having a good social life seem to be protective against Alzheimer’s.

Hope you found this post useful. All of these foods are brain healthy foods so no harm in adding them to your diet and improving brain power !

 

References :

 http://alzheimersweekly.com/content/beet-juice-brain-health-just-2-cups

http://www.livestrong.com/article/35946-brain-games-alzheimers/

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22211686

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/08/vitamin-d-alzheimers-amyloid-beta-plaque-protein_n_1326952.html

Comments

  1. Excellent … I just bought some beets :-)
    CJ recently posted…Rye Bread from the Bread MachineMy Profile

    • Sunithi Selvaraj, RD says:

      I love beets ! I have mild BP and found Beet juice kept it under control. There’s something so rich & nourishing about beets ! The color I think :) Think I’ll get some too ! Thanks !

  2. My Grandmother suffered from Alzheimer’s. It really is so heart breaking to see a loved one degenerate in this way. I know I am one of those people that have to safe guard myself. Also, in my studying Autism, I found some interesting research on Alzheimer’s as well. I wish I could give you the link to the study, sorry, I will dig it up if you wish. Researchers found metal/aluminum on the brain in deceased Alzheimer’s patients. Related, kids on the Autism spectrum have a hard time processing metals through their systems as well. If you have a family member who has suffered from Alzheimer’s, chances of having a child on the spectrum is definitely increased. Of course, Autism like Alzheimer’s depends on many genetic, environmental and biological factors, as well. CoQ10 is one of my daily supps. Is Resveratrol found in grape skins? Can’t remember if I’m thinking of the right thing. Good post, that video brought a tear:(
    Cari recently posted…Texting While Driving & Other Dumb Ways To DieMy Profile

    • Sunithi Selvaraj, RD says:

      So glad you liked the post. Interesting point on the aluminum. So may ways we absorb that in our diet without realizing. I may do a post on that… minimizing absorption of metals. One of the reasons a detox ( both internal & external as in saunas) are good, to rid the body of metallic toxins ( at-least some of it ) Reserveratrol is found in th skin of grapes but concentrated in a pill. Hard to drink as much wine pr grape juice to get what’s in a pill. I take it. I used to take CoQ10. I should probably start again. Remember being quite brain sharp when I took it ! I love the video too. I teared up too when I first saw it :) !

  3. Beautiful video. sniff sniff ! had a great aunt who had Alzheimer’s and the end was moving. She would forget who we were and just smile :) I think eating these foods is not a bad idea. Good for brain function like you said. I did read somewhere that females are more predisposed to the disease. Thanks for sharing Sue.

  4. Good post ! The power of foods that can heal is often underestimated. I use a lot of curicumin in my cooking. It just stuff better I think. All the more reason to load up more. May include beet juice to my list..

  5. Do remember how very important the good fats, the monounsaturated fats are to brain health also! http://www.carothersoliveoil.com/store/
    The best olive oil. Extra Virgin Olive Oil from Spain.
    Marie Killian recently posted…Homemade Salad DressingMy Profile

  6. Nice list ! I’ve been eating lots of fatty fish and nuts for a while now and it helps to improve memory. Apart from a healthy diet it’s also important to keep your brain “active” as much as possible.
    Gael recently posted…The Paleo Diet For Weight Loss : Does It Work ?My Profile

  7. Alzheimer is one of disease I should watch out. And by eating your recommendation foods is one of the ways to prevent the occurrence. I’m glad that tuna and salmon are include in these recipes, I like them :)

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