As Hippocrates said, “Let food be thy medicine, and let thy medicine be food.” No matter if you’re healthy or sick there will be foods that can help you, Alzheimer sufferers are no different. Also, what you eat will not cause side effects with medication that you may be on.
A really important food for Alzheimer patients is fatty fish. Oily fish such as mackerel, salmon and albacore tuna are sources of omega 3 fatty acids. It seems that your grandmother’s reference to fish being brain food was more than just an old adage. It seems that the DHA in fish oil not only prevents plaques from forming in the brain, but also stops the development of tangles. It is the plaques and tangles that are believed, by scientists, to be the prime suspects in causing cell death and tissue loss in the alzheimer’s brain.
It is also important to add a handful of nuts to your diet as they also contain essential fatty acids. Nuts also contain the minerals magnesium and zinc, both of which are important for brain function. Walnuts, almonds and pecans also have the antioxidant vitamin E present in them. It is also good to get some of your protein from a non-animal source as it does not contain any saturated fats.
Antioxidants are essential in protecting your body from the process of oxidation and against inflammation. Researchers have pinpointed the actions of Vitamin E as helping to delay the onset of worsening symptoms of Alzheimer’s. All the other antioxidants have similar actions so making sure that your body is well protected makes perfect sense. The best antioxidant foods are prunes, berries (especially blueberries and acai berries), spinach, broccoli, beetroot and capsicum.
Vitamin B Complex is also excellent for Alzheimer patients. The B Vitamins help to support the brain’s messenger system, individually they all have different roles which help to slow down the progression of Alzheimer’s. Foods that are high in the B Vitamins include dairy products, eggs, seafoods, oranges, avocados, broccoli and asparagus.
It is also recommended that you keep your body hydrated. When a healthy person is dehydrated it affects their performance and concentration so it is something you want to avoid with an Alzheimer’s patient. It also pays to avoid caffeine and alcohol as they are dehydrating.
Diets that are high in saturated fats have also been shown to increase the incidence of Alzheimer’s disease and to help speed it’s progression. Most nutritionists refer to the Mediterranean diet as being the best diet for an individual with Alzheimer’s disease. The Mediterranean diet is high in fruit and vegetables, fish, nuts, seeds and healthy oils. It is low on meat and dairy which contain more saturated fat.
As Thomas Edison once said, “The doctor of the future will no longer treat the human frame with drugs, but rather will cure and prevent disease with nutrition.” Keep your brain healthy by eating well.