Conditions

Alzheimer’s Diet: What You Should Eat To Lower Risk

Alzheimer’s disease comprises the majority of dementia cases. It is the decline of cognitive abilities, particularly memory loss, that the disease brings forth. The greatest risk factor is growing old, but about 200,000 Americans have early-onset Alzheimer’s before they turn 65 years of age. 

While genes, lifestyle choices and education increase risk of cognitive decline, dietary patterns also have an equal role to play. A commonly recommended diet to improve brain health is the Mediterranean diet, for which vegetables, fruits, whole grains, seeds and nuts are the main focus. Seafood, poultry and dairy are incorporated into the diet in moderate amounts, barring a few exceptions to eat red meat. 

A systematic review published in the journal of Advances in Nutrition in September 2016 included five randomized control trials and 27 observational studies to understand if the Mediterranean diet helped delay cognitive decline.

Most of the studies were epidemiological in nature, hence not being able to provide cause-and-effect. However, the majority of the studies revealed a correlation between improved cognitive function and lowering risk of Alzheimer's disease after consistently consuming the Mediterranean diet.

Another study that compared the impact of the Mediterranean diet with a low-fat diet of sorts found that both diets improved cognitive performance. Once again, not being able to establish more than just an incidental connection. 

Fish Helped Lower Cognitive Impairment Risk

new study published by the National Institute of Health analyzed 7,756 participants, for which the participants answered questionnaires related to eating habits. Cognitive abilities were tested on the phone. 

The paper identified the dietary factor that played a huge role in lowering cognitive impairment, which was fish. Vegetables followed as a close second.“Fish intake was associated with higher cognitive function,'' said the paper. Of all the various staple foods consumed as part of the Mediterranean diet, fish, more than vegetables, was associated with lower cognitive decline and impairment. 

“Closer Mediterranean diet adherence was associated with lower risk of cognitive impairment but not slower decline in cognitive function. Apolipoprotein E (APOE) haplotype did not influence these relationships,” the paper added further. 

Mediterranean Diet Health experts consider the Mediterranean diet as one of the healthiest diets ever created, which focus on natural food, mainly plants combined with healthy fats. Pixabay

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