Alzheimer’s disease is on the rise, and although there is no cure, researchers are constantly looking at ways to help reduce the risk of this memory-robbing disease or at least slow it down.
One of those methods is through diet, as much of our health relies on diet. One diet that has been getting much attention lately is the ketogenic diet – or keto diet. This diet was first established in 1923 by Dr. Russel Wilder of the Mayo Clinic as a means to treat epilepsy.
The keto diet is based on consuming high fats, moderate protein, and low carbohydrates. Eating in this fashion causes the body to develop ketones, which are produced in the liver as an alternative source of energy for the brain. In Alzheimer’s disease, the brain loses its ability to use glucose as energy, so ketones become the main source of energy and are known to offer neuroprotective effects.
Another key food component in preventing Alzheimer’s disease is wild blueberries, which have a low glycemic load and pack more nutrients than other blueberries. Preliminary research on blueberry powder revealed that patients had improved memory and cognitive function. Additional research is needed to determine the effectiveness of blueberries in maintaining cognition.
There is a consensus that the best form of preventative medicine is eating healthy balanced meals. This means consuming whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and minimal sugars and processed foods. A diet that contains all these components is the Mediterranean diet, which is often hailed for its ability to boost brain and heart function.
If you are unsure of how to eat healthily, it may be wise to start with a dietician or nutritionist to get you started. Just remember, all in moderation and variety is critical to keep food interesting.