5 Ways to Protect Against Alzheimer’s
For life-shattering illnesses like Alzheimer’s disease, many will try extreme measures to find a cure.
The disease is complex. It is why millions of patients still await a medical solution. However, prevention could be one of the most prudent methods of reducing an individual’s potential threat of being diagnosed with this fatal disease.
Alzheimer’s is a terminal disease that progresses over time. Over the years, symptoms of forgetfulness and dementia worsen until an individual loses every aspect of personal autonomy, possibly until they are unable to maintain a conversation. Typically those affected are aged 65 and older, however those between the ages of 40 and 55 may suffer early-onset stages of the disease. Currently, it is said to affect 36 million people worldwide.
As plaque accumulates in the brain, it jumbles the nerve fibers. This is the biological process caused by Alzheimer’s. Once these nerve cells become tangled, signals get mixed. Eventually, neurons, which send messages between the cells in our brain, are unable to connect at all.
A recent study conducted by researchers at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, and published in The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association, found that individuals who consumed a certain group of foods, including olive oil, beans and vegetables had a substantially lower risk of falling victim to Alzheimer’s disease.
“The results revealed that the subjects whose diet closely resembled a MIND diet (Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay), had cut down their risk of developing Alzheimer’s by a whooping 53 percent, as compared to those who did not follow the regime prescribed in the MIND diet,” writes the International Business Times.
The MIND diet focuses on Mediterranean foods known for high levels of healthy fat, or essential fatty acids.
Lavender and lemon balm were both incorporated into daily routines for a selection of patients with Alzheimer’s during clinical trials. Interestingly, most individuals afflicted with the degenerative disease do not have a sense of smell. The lavender and lemon balm treatments were shown to be most effective in relaxing and calming the excessive motor behavior of patients when applied to a lotion and used in a massage, according to the study. While lavender was shown to specifically target nervous behavior, a combination of lemon and lavender displayed abilities to increase functional activity and communication skills while diminishing occurrences of difficult behavior.
Lavender was also shown to facilitate sleep in patients suffering from dementia and other psychiatric disorders.
Author Dr. Daniel Amen calls avocado one of the best foods to eat for a healthy brain. According to Dr. Amen, the rich folate content in avocado can aid in the prevention of neurological ‘brain tangles’ known as a factor in earlier stages of Alzheimer’s disease. Avocado is also known to reduce signs of inflammation, which can attack certain neurons in the brain resulting in oxidative stress.
According to medical sources, geranium extracts are also known for improving immune function and provide essential fatty acids beneficial for cellular repair in the brain.
Some suggest that occasionally skipping a day of food and water may advocate healthy responses in your brain. According to neuroscientist Mark Mattson of the U.S. Institute of Aging, “suddenly dropping your food intake dramatically, cutting it by at least half for a day or so, triggers protective processes in the brain.”
Some attribute this to the explicit management of triglycerides, or fats in the body, that accumulate over time. When an individual fasts, or stops eating for a period of time, the body begins to change the way it converts energy. Triglycerides are a form of fat that are used by the body to produce energy. However, if a person eats food with a high composition of triglycerides, and does not burn the total amount they have consumed, any excess will be stored by the body. Some believe this can cause high levels of cholesterol, which can also lead to the buildup of plaque in the arteries and blood stream. Fasting allows the body to burn excess triglycerides before new ones are introduced and must be processed.
Note: LDL is the malign form of cholesterol.
Researchers have found a common link between Alzheimer’s patients, which is an absence of B-vitamins; vitamin B-12 to be specific. Vitamin B-12 is known for providing the body with healthy nerves and red blood cells. Often a lack of B-12 can cause memory loss at any age. B-complex vitamins are often found in food like fish, eggs and poultry. B vitamins are also believed to hymocysteine, a chemical compound linked to making the gray tissue of the brain smaller.
“A rapidly shrinking brain is one of the signs of a raised risk for Alzheimer’s. Those taking the B vitamins had 90 per cent less shrinkage in their brains,” writes Daily Mail concerning the study held at Oxford University.
Consuming coconut oil is another way experts suggest of precluding the onset of Alzheimer’s. During Alzheimer’s, the way our brain converts food to energy changes. It is no longer able to utilize glucose through the release of insulin. However, officials say that the ketone bodies, or medium-chain triglycerides present in coconut oil are just as capable of fueling our brains and bodies.