No matter how old we are, no matter what our current state of mental health, no matter what our risk of dementia, (dem) we all want to make our brains healthier. I hesitate to even use the word “dementia.” This post is about brain health. We all want to keep both our brains and our bodies healthy.
At least I do. Full disclosure. I was diagnosed with an incurable blood cancer in early 1994. Lots of chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant left me with chemobrain. It’s been more than 20 years since my chemo so any forgetfulness, lack of focus, difficulty multitasking, etc. may be typical for my age- I can’t be sure.
If you have been diagnosed with early-stage dementia then you want to slow the rate of dementia. If your brain is already healthy, you want to make it healthier.
The question is, what foods lower my risk of dementia and improve my brain health? The links and the article below will point you in the right direction.
Have you been diagnosed with dementia? Early stage Alzheimer’s? Is there dementia in your family? The fact is that lifestyle (nutrition, exercise, supplementation, etc.) can slow or even reverse symptoms.
Scroll down the page, post a question or comment and I will repl to you ASAP.
Healthy diet reduces risk for dementia
Researchers developed a score based on consumption of cooked fruits and vegetables, fish, legumes, olive oil, as well as raw fruits and vegetables. Eating habits and health status of 7,353 participants were scored at baseline.
They found that after 14 years, there were 906 cases of incident dem, and those with a high adherence to the healthy diet were less likely to develop dem…
MIND diet increases cognition
An analysis of 2,092 participants of the Framingham Heart study who did not have dem. or stroke and followed the MIND diet indicated better Alzheimer’s related symptoms across three different examination cycles from 1991 to 2001.
The findings indicated that for every unit increase in the MIND diet score, there was superior abstract reasoning [β ± SE = 0.11 ± 0.04]; episodic memory [β ± SE = 0.42 ± 0.11]; global cognition [β ± SE = 0.04 ± 0.01]; processing speed [β ± SE = 0.01 ± 0.004], and visual memory [β ± SE = 0.12 ± 0.04], with significant interactions in participants who had the APOE genotype.
Unsaturated fats’ link to dem
A follow-up of 1,890 participants who provided their eating habits as part of a CVD study conducted in the 1960s, who were then assessed for dem. more than 3 decades later showed that total calories consumed, as well as the percent of calories derived from polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fat were not related to developing late-life dem.
Flavonols decrease Alzheimer’s disease risk
Researchers examined dietary assessments and neurological exams of 934 participants, paying particular attention to their baseline dietary intakes of flavonols.
The findings indicated that participants with the highest quintile of total flavonol intake compared to the lowest intake quintile had a decreased rate of Alzheimer’s disease… Individual flavonol intake also suggested a protective effect against Alzheimer’s: kaempferol… isorhamnetin.. myricetin… quercetin..
Omega-3 fatty acids may improve cognition
The impact of a 26-day intervention consisting of omega-3 essential fatty acids, green tea catechins…
Western diet increases risk for Alzheimer’s disease
At the other end of the spectrum, researchers studied the impact of the a less healthy diet using food frequency questionnaires of 468 Memory and Aging Project clinical neuropathological cohort study participants, with the last data collected an average of 5.9 years before the participant passed away.
The findings indicated a more significant association with Alzheimer’s disease pathology in those participants who consumed the Western diet (eg, high fat and fried foods, red and processed meats) including greater neuritic plaque severity scores, higher amyloid level and higher NIA Reagan scores (P = 0.05) vs. those who followed a non-Western diet…”
“The researchers narrowed down the 32 nutritional substances provided by a traditional Mediterranean diet to several that appear to play key roles in healthy brain aging, enhanced cognitive performance, functional brain network efficiency, executive function, and general intelligence.