(AscendHealthy.com) – While Alzheimer’s is a serious concern and currently doesn’t have a cure, there may be ways to reduce our risk. With the right kind of diet, our worries about developing Alzheimer’s might be fewer. Let’s explore what we know.
What Causes Alzheimer’s?
It’s believed that an accumulation of specific proteins in and around the brain cells causes Alzheimer’s disease. When these proteins build up abnormally, they may affect functions like memory and emotional control.
Two different proteins are culprits for this condition. Amyloid proteins form plaques around the brain’s cells, while tau proteins form tangles within the cells. Scientists aren’t completely clear on the exact causes of the protein buildup. But a diet that’s rich in nutrients and healthy fats may combat the over-development of these proteins in the brain and reduce Alzheimer’s risk.
What Is the Mediterranean Diet?
A new study has shown that people who eat a Mediterranean diet may be better protected from the risk of Alzheimer’s — along with some other types of health conditions — as they age. The diet is high in fruits, vegetables, unsaturated fats, and fish, while being low in red meat and dairy products.
For people who want to lower their Alzheimer’s risk, the Mediterranean diet may be an easy diet to adopt. The basics include fruits and vegetables, along with beans, seeds, nuts, and olive oil. Then, build on that base with smaller amounts of eggs, dairy, poultry, and fish. Reserving any leftover calories in the budget for naturally sweet treats or wine rounds out the diet.
While the Mediterranean diet doesn’t forbid red meat, most people who choose this diet eat it sparingly. Portions of red meat and sweets should be rationed carefully as occasional treats instead of being an everyday occurrence on this diet. Choosing to eat this way may help prevent serious memory issues.
How Does This Diet Lower Alzheimer’s Risk?
The study indicated that eating this type of diet is a way to cleanse the brain of the buildup of proteins seen in patients with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Participants who were careful about closely following the diet performed better on tests of their cognitive abilities and showed less brain volume shrinkage.
Memory tests appeared to indicate that people who chose not to stick closely to the diet didn’t do as well on the tests. They also had higher numbers of the protein biomarkers that appear to be associated with Alzheimer’s. Nutrition experts didn’t find this surprising because healthy fats and healthy foods generally equate to better health.
People who eat a Mediterranean diet may not only be lowering their Alzheimer’s risk, but they may also reduce issues with blood sugar and inflammation. This type of diet is also suitable for weight control, which may be a bonus that might reinforce better health.
~Here’s to Your Healthy Ascension
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