Sunday, May 20, 2018

5 Foods That Help Lower the Risk of Dementia

Guest post by Masooma Memon

Dementia is a disease of the brain that occurs due to a number of reasons depending on the type of the disorder. For instance, damaged blood vessels that transport blood to the brain are blamed as culprits behind vascular dementia.


Likewise, the most common type of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, occurs due to an accumulation of abnormal beta-amyloid protein in the disease-affected brain. Only a few cases of dementia can be treated, provided the damage to the brain cells is not permanent. The majority of the cases are, however, progressive and culminate in eventual loss of cognitive functioning.

Statistics paint a bleaker picture. According to the Global Voice on Dementia, as of 2015, there were roughly 46.8 million people living with the mental condition around the globe. This number is only forecasted to swell. The same source reveals that the number of dementia patients will climb to nearly 75 million and 131.5 million in 2030 and 2050, respectively. The graph presented below showcases the rise.


This leaves us with a sudden chill that runs down the spine while wondering about such a horrible neurodegenerative disorder. Scientists are still digging out a cure but to no avail. However, the good news is that you are not unarmed in this battle against the progressive brain disease.

You can always take some preventative measures to lower your odds of developing dementia. One effective preventative step is eating foods that protect your brain from damage.

In this regard, here is a look at five foods that help you reduce the risk of dementia:

1.  Omega-3 fatty acids

While omega-3s are not food items to be exact, they are essential nutrients to add to your diet. The nutrients are critical for healthy brain development. These also help curtail inflammation, which chips in the build-up of abnormal protein in the brain.

Some common sources of omega-3 fatty acids are white tuna, herring, and salmon. In addition to the seafood, you can also get your fill of omega-3s from olive oil, flaxseeds, and walnuts. You might recognize these staples from the Mediterranean diet that promotes good heart health. In fact, a study credits this meal plan for lowering the risk of dementia by as much as 35%.

2.  Blueberries

These little blue dynamos are rich in vitamins and are packed with a powerful dose of antioxidants, in particular, flavonoids. Antioxidants are applauded for their role in fighting inflammation that sits at the heart of brain damage. Not only do these berries lower the dementia risk but they also prevent memory impairment.

Researchers highlight that berries alter the way the brain cells communicate. In doing so, these prevent inflammation that culminates in neural damage. Another study found out that participants who consumed 30 milliliters of blueberry juice exhibited significant improvement in brain activity. The study also confirmed that drinking blueberry juice enhanced blood flow to the brain.

    Related Post:  Enhancing The Nutritional Value Of Foods     

3.  Oats

Oats are a healthy source of wholegrain foods that work to maintain consistent blood sugar and insulin levels. On the flip side, processed or highly refined foods enriched with carbs contribute to rapid fluctuations in the glucose markers.

Pairing these blood sugar level spikes with inflammation is the recipe for injuring neurons and their communication. This is why Alzheimer’s disease is referred to as, “diabetes of the brain.” Oats help beat both these culprits, so you get to kill two birds with one stone.

4.  Curry powder

Curry powder is commonly used in India and other Eastern countries. It not only adds flavor to the dishes but also diminishes the risk of dementia. The number one reason for the effectiveness of curry powder in this regard is the presence of turmeric in it. This golden spice boasts a high content of antioxidants that curtail inflammation.

Studies reveal that this super spice helps in the breakdown of amyloid-beta plaques that are the villain in the dementia tale. These also view turmeric as a potential ingredient that has the ability to treat Alzheimer’s. The researchers write, "Curcumin as an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and lipophilic action improves the cognitive functions in patients with Alzheimer's Disease.”

5.  Vitamin C and E enriched foods

The by-product of the chemical reactions going on in our brain is free radicals. These are unstable molecules that generously contribute to inflammation and damage that results in mental decline. Antioxidants are, however, the antidotes that mop up the harmful free radicals. You can get rid of this free radical pollution in your brain by including food items that are rich in vitamin C and E.

Red peppers, broccoli, and strawberries are some rich sources of vitamin C. On the other hand, you can get your share of vitamin E via almonds and olive oil. All these food items assist in minimizing the risk of the degenerative disorder. A study unveiled that folks who took vitamin E from food sources lowered their risk of developing Alzheimer’s by 67%. Research also links the intake of vitamin C with enhanced cognitive functioning.


Key takeaway:

Healthy eating is a crucial measure for reducing the risk of developing dementia. You need to include foods that are rich in flavonoids, vitamin C, vitamin E, and omega-3 fatty acids. If you are looking to follow a straightforward diet plan, then you can try the Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay (MIND) diet. It is a cross between the DASH diet and Mediterranean diet that helps cut back the odds of dementia by 34%.

About the Author

Masooma is a freelance writer by day and a novel nerd by night. She is a multi-niche writer who crafts content on everything ranging from marketing to mindfulness and health.  You can learn more about Masooma’s work and read her blog at Masooma's Portfolio

7 comments:

  1. Oh I had no idea about this! My grandma has just been diagnosed with Alzheimers so I am keen to try and add these to my diet now whilst I am young!

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  2. I didn't know this... It's interesting to know there foods that can help reduce your risk of developing such an awful disease.

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  3. This is so good to know! Alzheimers runs in my family so I definitely want to take precautionary measures where possible.

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  4. I think I had heard of curry but I was not aware for the other one. I have also heard red wine helps to prevent dementia!

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  5. ooh! thanks for this info! i didn't know oats and blueberries can help lower the risk of dementia.

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  6. thank you for the post on dementia. sadly the blueberry and omega-3 are quite expensive for an average joe. need to find alternative solution.

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  7. What a great list! I eat all of these, so fingers crossed I'll be ok.

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