Eat to reduce your chances of alzheimer's disease

Do you or a member of your family suffer from Alzheimer’s disease? Then this week’s blog post: 7 steps to preventing Alzheimer’s disease right now is going to be very helpful.

I have a close friend whose mum was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease last autumn. As you can imagine there had been signs that not everything was quite right for a long time. Forgetfulness, thinking that the people on the TV are real, saying the same thing again and again over the course of the day, forgetting to eat, or eating breakfast four or five times because they can’t remember that they’ve already had it.

According to Alzheimer’s Disease International:

Globally, 13% of people aged 60 or over require long-term care. Between 2010 and 2050, the total number of older people with care needs will nearly treble from 101 to 277 million.[1]

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia[2]. The brains of people with Alzheimer’s are damaged. Protein ‘plaques’ and ‘tangles’ develop in the structure of the brain, leading to the death of brain cells. People with Alzheimer’s also have a shortage of some important chemicals in their brain. These chemicals are involved with the transmission of messages within the brain. But hope is not lost for us.

Preventing Alzheimer’s Disease

Speakers attending the International Conference on Nutrition and the Brain held in Washington, DC last year (2013), were asked to comment on possible guidelines for Alzheimer’s disease prevention. The aim was clear. To create a set of practical initial steps that you and I can follow to try and avoid developing the disease. 7 clear steps, all relating to diet and exercise emerged.

7 steps to preventing Alzheimer’s disease right now

  1. Minimize your intake of saturated fats and trans fats. Saturated fat is found primarily in dairy products, meats, and certain oils (coconut and palm oils). Trans fats are found in many snack pastries and fried foods and are listed on labels as “partially hydrogenated oils.”
  2. Eat a plant based diet – vegetables, legumes (beans, peas, and lentils), fruits, and whole grains should replace meats and dairy products at every meal time and throughout the day.
  3. Vitamin E should come from foods, rather than supplements. Healthful food sources of vitamin E include seeds, nuts, green leafy vegetables, and whole grains. The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for vitamin E is 15 mg per day.
  4. A reliable source of vitamin B12, such as fortified foods or a supplement providing at least the recommended daily allowance (2.4 ?g per day for adults), should be part of your daily diet. Have your blood levels of vitamin B12 checked regularly as many factors, including age, may impair absorption.
  5. If using multiple vitamins, choose those without iron and copper and consume iron supplements only when directed by your doctor.
  6. Although aluminium’s role in Alzheimer’s disease remains a matter of investigation, if you want to minimize your exposure you should avoid using cookware, antacids, baking powder, or other products that contain it.
  7. Include aerobic exercise in your routine, equivalent to 40 minutes of brisk walking 3 times per week.

The above 7 steps to preventing Alzheimer’s disease right now were based on the following principles:

  1. Guidelines were to be based on substantial, although not necessarily conclusive, evidence of benefit.
  2. Implementation of guidelines should present no reasonable risk of harm.
  3. The guidelines were to be considered to be subject to modification as scientific evidence evolves.

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Up above, I shared with you 7 Steps to Preventing Alzheimer’s Disease Right Now. If you found this post helpful, please take a moment to SHARE this post with people you think will find it valuable. You can use the buttons to share this post with your social networks. Hopefully you will and so I’ll give you a big THANK YOU in anticipation.

But, I also want to finish off with a question that I’d like you to answer…

What do you think? What’s your experience of Alzheimer’s disease? Let me know what you think below.