Foods to Prevent Alzheimer’s

By: Bel Marra Health | Alzheimers | Tuesday, January 03, 2012 - 01:59 PM

Foods to Prevent Alzheimer’s diseaseIt’s one of the top 10 causes of death in North America.  So it makes sense that everything possible is being done to try and slow down or prevent this progressive form of dementia.

Prevention could be as easy as making a few alterations to your diet. Researchers with the University of Pittsburg Medical Center have discovered that regularly consuming baked or broiled fish may play a major role in reducing your chances of developing Alzheimer’s.

Study participants who ate fish at least once a week experienced less brain-cell loss. They also had better short-term memory and performed the tasks involving memory more efficiently.

It may come as a shock that a disease that claims as many patients as Alzheimer’s could be slowed and prevented by just eating more fish products. But a study in the Neurology Journal says nutrition could play as strong a role as other factors like age, education and history of high blood pressure.

In the Neurology Journal study it was found that those who had high levels of vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids (both found in salmon, tuna, and other fatty fish), as well as appropriate intake of vitamins C, B and E (antioxidants found in fruits and green vegetables) appeared less likely to have cognitive difficulties. Researchers also found that those who had blood markers that indicated high levels of trans fats such as margarine and the unhealthy oils found in processed foods were more likely to have memory loss and brain shrinkage.

Gene Bowman of Oregon Health and Science University in Portland says, “for the thinking and memory scores, the nutrient bio-markers accounted for 17% of the variation in the scores. Other factors such as age, number of years of education, and high blood pressure accounted for 46% of the variation. For brain volume, the nutrient biomarkers accounted for 37% of the variation.”

Previous research has shown that a diet rich in green leafy vegetables, fish, and fruit and light on red meat, high-fat dairy, and trans-fats confers benefits in delaying cognitive decline.

The research, however, didn’t distinguish between nutrient levels between whole foods as opposed to supplements. With this information missing it’s tough to say whether people can simply take a supplement to reduce their risk of Alzheimer’s or whether they need to rely on a more complicated means of acquiring a nutrient-rich diet.

The benefits of the Omega-3 fish oils don’t stop with Alzheimer prevention. Here are a few other reasons why Omega-3 should be incorporated into your diet where possible:

1.  Improves cardiovascular health.
2.  Can reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke.
3.  Promote healthy mood balance.
5.  Improves pregnancy health.
6.  Supports the development of the brain and eyes in children.
7.  Decreases the chance of osteoporosis.

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