By Marianne Fernance
- Are you concerned about Alzheimer’s and dementia?
- Does someone you know, or love, face the daily reality of memory loss?
For many people the fear of dementia, like public speaking, measures greater than our fear of death. While many preventative strategies have been suggested, the best prevention is a diet and lifestyle that supports optimal brain health.
What are the causes of dementia?
While the progressive memory loss of dementia can be caused by a number of different conditions, it is important to realise that it is not an inevitable part of aging. In reality, correct nutrition and, the elimination of environmental toxins, can help us to retain mental alertness and function to allow us to enjoy the golden years.
Using Fatty Acids to Improve Brain Health
More commonly referred to as fish oils, DHA omega-3 fatty acids help to protect the brain from damage by preventing inflammation within the tissues of the brain. DHA, like other omega-3 fatty acids is commonly found in high concentrations in oily fish, and to a lesser extent eggs and poultry. A study, published in the American Journal of Cardiology, found that of 815 participants, consumption of fish once a week, provided a 60% reduced risk for developing Alzheimer’s.
Not really keen on fish? Try a good quality, purified, fish oil supplement. A purified fish oil also ensures environmental toxins including: mercury, PCB and petrochemicals; have been removed.
The Insulin Connection to Alzheimer’s Disease
Are you affected by insulin resistance or metabolic syndrome? Problems with glucose metabolism and control of insulin levels have been associated with an increased risk of development of Alzheimer’s disease.
While the exact mechanics of this are still unclear, it has been found that decreased levels of insulin production and increased insulin resistance in the brain coincide with an increase in the characteristic plaques that form in the brain of those with Alzheimer’s Disease.
Implementing a low carbohydrate, high protein, ketogenic diet has been shown to be beneficial in resetting insulin sensitivity, and has offered improvements in Alzheimer’s related symptoms.
A Cup of Green Tea to Help Brain Health
Do you need another reason to take time out for a cup of tea? In a large study of 716 Chinese adults over 55 years old, total tea consumption was associated with improved performance in mental tasks.
Catechins, an ingredient in which green tea is particularly high, have been shown to make effective antioxidants. Not only do catechins directly protect against oxidative damage, but they also “switch on” our bodies production of glutathione, another powerful antioxidant.
By increasing our intake of foods rich in antioxidants, such as green tea, we can help reduce the inflammation and damage caused by the byproducts of metabolism. Antioxidants, particularly glutathione, have also been shown to be protective against heavy metals and other environmental toxins. These are particularly damaging to the brain, due to its high fat content and ability to pass the blood brain barrier.