World Alzheimer's Day: Can Nutrition Help You Dodge Alzheimer's Disease?

World Alzheimer's Day: Can Nutrition Help You Dodge Alzheimer's Disease?

6 Ways Nutrition Can Help In Alzheimer's Disease Prevention

Written by Tavishi Dogra |Updated : September 21, 2022 2:29 PM IST

World Alzheimer's Day 2022: The foods we consume throughout life could directly impact our cognitive function in our later years. Research suggests that healthy lifestyle choices no smoking, high leisure-time exercise, low-to-moderate alcohol consumption, adequate sleep, and a high-quality diet are associated with an 11-25% reduced risk of Alzheimer's disease and related dementias. Unfortunately, another worrisome study says seniors over 65 years old are at a higher risk of developing Alzheimer's after contracting Coronavirus. Therefore, lifestyle modifications, especially diet, are indispensable in preserving brain function as one ages. On Alzheimer's Day on September 21, Dr Vivek Srivastav, Senior Vice President, Zeon Lifesciences, looks at what Alzheimer's disease is and how nutrition can help one prevent the onset of this irreversible disease.

How much nutrition helps in Alzheimer's disease prevention?

  • Mediterranean diet may protect against dementia and memory loss: If you're a fan of the Mediterranean diet, or something resembling it, you're in luck. Research shows that a dietary pattern with more intake of legumes, vegetables, cereals, fruit, monounsaturated fatty acids and fish may protect against protein deposits in the brain (primarily responsible for the death of neurons or brain cells) and brain atrophy.
  • Restrict caloric intake: Patients with Alzheimer's disease have higher amounts of beta-amyloid peptides, which induce plaque accumulation in the brain. According to research, dietary calorie restriction, mainly based on low carbohydrate foods, can lower beta-amyloid peptides in the brain. On the other hand, a high-caloric diet based on saturated fat was demonstrated to raise levels of beta-amyloid peptides.
  • Processed meat consumption may raise the risk of dementia: There are approximately 50 million instances of dementia worldwide, and each year, 10 million new cases are identified. Alzheimer's disease makes up 50% to 70% of cases. Researchers have found a correlation between meat consumption and the onset of dementia, showing that daily consumption of a 25g meal of processed meat is linked to a 44% increased risk of the condition.

  • Cheese and wine, in moderation, may be good for you: In a study, cheese was found to be the best food that protects against age-related cognitive problems, even in later life. In addition, however bizarre it may sound, drinking alcohol regularly and red wine, in particular, was linked to increases in cognitive performance.
  • Cut down on salt: Although excess salt consumption is unhealthy, only people who are already at risk for Alzheimer's Disease may need to monitor their intake to prevent long-term cognitive issues. This is because salt alters the gut, causing the small intestine to grow and cause inflammation, which reduces blood supply to the brain.
  • Amp up the green consumption: A daily intake of leafy green vegetables like spinach and kale has been linked to a reduced rate of age-related cognitive decline, possibly due to some nutrients' neuroprotective properties.