Alzheimer’s is a condition when a patient faces a memory loss problem. The symptoms of Alzheimer’s grow slowly and get worse over the period of time.
Imagine after few years down the line you are not able to remember yourself and your dearest one. How does it feel? Heart-breaking and painful right? Do you know why we are discussing this? Well, this is exactly what happens in the USA when more than 5.5 million Americans have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). And according to a study, this number is projected to grow to 13.8 million by 2050.
Sadly, we need to say there is no cure for this lethal disease. The most important and best help you can offer to those Alzheimer’s survivors is emotional support. Here in this article, we will discuss all the possible information you need to know about Alzheimer’s. Keep reading.
What Is Alzheimer’s Disease?
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia (a continuous failure in thinking, social and behavioural skills that disrupts a person’s ability to function independently). Alzheimer’s disease is a neurological disorder that causes the death of brain cells, leading memory loss and cognitive decline.
What are the causes and risk factors?
The exact cause that triggers Alzheimer’s disease is not yet found. However, the study says a few other factors could be responsible for increasing the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. They are:
- Genetics: Carriers of certain genes
- Heredity: A family medical history of the condition
- Severe or repetitive traumatic injuries to the brain
- Advancing age
- Exposure to certain environmental pollutants like toxic metals, pesticides, and industrial chemicals.
Signs and Symptoms of Alzheimer’s
In the initial stage, the symptoms of Alzheimer’s are usually mild and may become severe with time. Hence, if you are aware of symptoms you can help the person in time by offering medical help or treatment for Alzheimer’s.
- A decrease in the ability to remember new things, which may lead to misplacing personal belongings, repetitive questioning, or forgetting appointments.
- Reduced ability to recognize faces or common objects (Impaired visuospatial abilities)
- Impaired ability to reason and complete complex tasks
- Impaired ability to read, write, understand or speak anything
- Behavioural and personality changes
The MIND Diet- Best Science-based Diet to prevent Alzheimer’s Disease:
Like we have discussed above, more than 5.5 million Americans have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). You must be surprised to know the fact that this disease ranks third as a cause of death after cancer and heart disease. To lessen the incidence of Alzheimer’s Disease, Dr. Morris and colleagues created the MIND diet for Alzheimer’s. After so many researches, this diet has shown to lower the risk of Alzheimer’s by 35% – 53% depending on the adherence to it.
You must be keen to know the secret behind the success of this diet? Keep reading to find out how the MIND diet helps to protect you and your loved ones from brain degeneration.
What Is the MIND Diet?
“MIND” stands for Mediterranean-DASH Diet Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay. This diet for Alzheimer’s is a hybrid of the Mediterranean and DASH diets. Both these diets help in weight loss and improving heart health.
How Does It Work?
MIND diet works effectively by combining two healthy diets, the Mediterranean and the DASH diet. The Mediterranean diet is known to lower the incidences of chronic diseases like cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer and improving metabolic health. The DASH diet, also known as Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension was created about 20 years ago to lower blood pressure in prehypertensive and hypertensive patients.
Both these diets promote the intake of low-salt, lowf-sugar, lean proteins, minimally processed foods, healthy fats, limited alcohol, and regular physical activities to improve overall health and well-being.
- The MIND diet is based on scientific research, experimented by Dr. Morris and her colleagues on 923 participants between the ages of 58-98 and followed up for four years and six months. The research team determined that even a modest observance to the MIND diet led to a lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
- Agnes Berendsen et al. from Wageningen University, Netherland had conducted another study on the MIND diet. The diets of 16,058 women aged 70 and over, were observed for 14 years continuously (from 1984 to 1998). This experiment was followed up by assessing cognitive abilities from 1995 to 2001 through telephonic interviews. Through this experiment, the research team found that long-term observance to the MIND diet led to better verbal memory.
Also Read: Alzheimer’s Disease – Care for your Loved Ones
Who should follow the MIND Diet?
The MIND diet works best for people over 50 years. Before following MIND diet, discuss with your doctor for their suggestion. So, find out next which foods should you eat and avoid.
MIND Diet Foods to Eat:
- Veggies – According to the MIND diet, minimum of six servings of leafy greens like spinach and kale per week and one serving of non-starchy veggies per day is highly recommended.
- Olive Oil – Olive oil is an essential part of this diet. It is a healthy fat containing a good dose of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids as well. You must use it as your main cooking oil.
- Whole Grains – you must consume at least 3 servings of brown rice, oats, quinoa and whole-grain bread per day.
- Nuts – You must be knowing nuts are great sources of protein, dietary fibre, vitamins, and minerals. So, you must have five servings of nuts like pistachios, almonds, walnuts, macadamia, and pine nuts every week.
- Legumes – You must take4 servings of lentils, soybeans, and beans per week.
- Fish – Include fatty fish like salmon, trout, and tuna in your diet as they are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, and also known to lower inflammation and oxidative stress.
- Poultry – You can consume poached or steamed chicken breast and ground turkey at least twice a week. Avoid fried chicken completely.
- Berries – Dr. Morris says, “(the MIND diet) specifically includes foods and nutrients that medical literature and data show to be good for the brain, such as berries.” So, following his words, consume at least, servings of 2-3 types of berries such as strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, and raspberries per day.
- Wine – Research says red wine helps to protect the heart risk and from Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. Consuming half a glass of red wine per day could be beneficial for Alzheimer’s patients.
You should avoid some foods completely from your MIND Diet. These foods are such as fried foods, butter, margarine, cheese, high-salt foods, high-sugar foods, and red meat, etc.