Over time, toxins can help the formation of plaques in your brain tissue that can trigger degenerative diseases like dementia and even Alzheimer’s disease, but home remedies can help combat these toxins and protect your memory.
Exercise and healthy eating are the two main remedies for a healthy brain, and they’re within our control. The same goes for the health of our brains, and steps to improve mental health and improve brain function overall. With just a few simple changes to your diet and activities to stimulate your brain, you could be well on your way to sharper focus, better recall, and good brain health.
What is Alzheimer’s disease?
Alzheimer’s disease is considered an irreversible, progressive brain disease that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills. It eventually erodes even the ability to carry out the simplest tasks. For most people with Alzheimer’s, symptoms first appear after the age of 65. Statistics suggest that as many as 5 million Americans age 65 and older may have Alzheimer’s disease.
Of those, about five percent develop symptoms earlier, most often in middle age. This early-onset Alzheimer’s can occur because the disease runs in families, so if you have a parent or grandparent who developed Alzheimer’s at a younger age, you could be at risk.
No one, though, is safe from Alzheimer’s disease, even if you’ve been taking good care of your health. It is the most common cause of dementia among older people. By dementia we mean the loss of thinking, remembering, reasoning, and behavioral abilities, so much so that it interferes with daily life and activities. While forgetting where you left your keys seems harmless enough, it could be an early sign of what’s to come…
Can you cure Alzheimer’s disease?
Not yet, no. “Alzheimer’s disease is complex, and it is unlikely that any one intervention will be found to delay, prevent, or cure it,” the National Institute on Aging says. “That’s why current approaches in treatment and research focus on several different aspects, including helping people maintain mental function, managing behavioral symptoms, and slowing or delaying the symptoms of disease.”
Alzheimer’s disease treatment really focuses on creating a better quality of life. Once a person is diagnosed, doctors will address some of the symptoms and side effects of the disease, and how they can be managed.
There are things you can do for Alzheimer’s disease prevention and alternative treatments for Alzheimer’s disease, which we’re going to talk about here. If these simple lifestyle changes sound right for you, talk to your doctor to get the green light to proceed.
6 home remedies for Alzheimer’s disease risk prevention
1. Coconut oil: When it comes to healthy fat, coconut oil is a sure winner. It contains a unique composition of fatty acids, where those fatty acids are about 90 percent saturated and almost entirely medium chain triglycerides.
When it comes to Alzheimer’s disease prevention, processed coconut oil contains caprylic acid, a particular fatty acid. These fatty acids go straight from the digestive tract to the liver, where they are broken down into ketone bodies – a protein derived from caprylic acid – to provide a quick source of energy. Never a bad thing!
A similar protein is used in a medicine called Ketasyn. Some research, albeit limited, has shown that people who took Ketasyn had better memory and less cognitive decline. Instead of turning to expensive prescription medications, though, you could try coconut oil. While it’s not so tasty straight from the container by teaspoon, you can add it to coffee or tea (just melt it down a bit first so that it emulsifies), smoothies, stir-fries and more. It also makes an excellent substitute for butter in baking.
2. Omega-3 fatty acids: Oily fish like salmon (wild caught), herring, sardines and mackerel are excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids, the essential fat your body can’t do without. Try to eat fish two to three times a week (yes, it’s that good for you). Other sources include nuts, especially walnuts, flaxseed, and canola and flaxseed oils. Omega-3 fatty acids are some of the most highly concentrated fats in the brain and known to play a vital role in the structure and functioning of the brain, especially when it comes to memory.
3. Blueberries: Some doctors refer to these health powerhouses “brainberries.” We know that antioxidants are good for our bodies, but they’re crucial for brain health. Blueberries have one of the highest antioxidant capacities among all fruits, vegetables and herbs. They are also rich in vitamin K, vitamin C, manganese and copper.
Studies show that blueberries help memory by protecting the brain from oxidative stress. They may also reduce the effects of age-related memory loss.
4. MIND diet: There’s a new diet in town and it’s targeting Alzheimer’s prevention. A recent study from Rush University in Chicago, published in Alzheimer’s & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association, developed a new diet which could significantly reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, researchers say.
While the DASH diet targets blood pressure and the Mediterranean diet is a sound eating strategy for overall health, the dedicated MIND (Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay) diet studied at Rush delivers brain-boosting power to combat Alzheimer’s.
To put the diet to the test, researchers followed study participants from 2004 to 2013. They found the MIND diet was associated with a 53 percent reduction in the risk of Alzheimer’s disease in those who followed it regularly, compared to a reduction of 54 percent and 39 percent for the Mediterranean and DASH plans. Plus, researchers say the MIND diet is much easier to follow.
It comprises two main categories: 10 food groups for brain health (green vegetables and other vegetables, nuts, berries, beans, whole grains, fish, poultry, olive oil and wine) and five groups to avoid as much as possible (red meat, animal fats, sugary foods, fried foods and fast food).
As for frequency, vegetables and nuts should be consumed daily, while berries – such as blueberries – and poultry should be eaten twice a week.
5. Coffee and tea: We love this one! Caffeine is a stimulant that wakes you up in the morningand fires up the brain’s neurotransmitters to power better memory and cognitive function.
A 2014 study from the University of California, showed that adults who consumed 200 mg of caffeine before taking a memory test had significantly greater scores on the test. A typical cup of coffee has from 95 to 200 mg. Those participants who took 300 mg, however, did not perform better and some became jittery – so don’t go overboard with your coffee. Four cups max per day, please!
There’s a growing body of research which shows that caffeine blocks inflammation in the brain, specifically adenosine receptors, which can start a chain reaction that begins the mind’s cognitive decline.
Tea has demonstrated protective effects on the brain, as well, but go with freshly brewed instead of bottled sweetened teas or powders. Tea leaves are rich in brain-healthy phytochemicals and flavonoids, and the process of brewing extracts these nutrients from the leaves.
6. Mind games: While physical exercise is great for blood flow and oxygen to the brain, you also need to flex and strengthen your brain “muscle” with new activities and mental challenges. Take up a new hobby or join a group class. Do crossword or other puzzles or brain teasers to improve your problem-solving skills. Stay sharp!
The National Institute on Aging contends that mental exercise can benefit dementia patients’ reasoning and speed-of-processing abilities. So make your favorite mind games and new activities part of your regular routine.
You don’t have to turn your life upside down to take steps to improve mental health. These are 6 easy ways to put into practice for Alzheimer’s disease home remedies. You can do them at home. Most importantly, make them a habit.