Eat walnuts every day to keep Alzheimer's away

A new study, led by an Indian-origin researcher, which was published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, suggested that consuming diet rich in walnuts may lower the risk of dementia and Alzheimer's.

According to the study, walnuts not only lower the risk of Alzhemier's but also delay the onset of the disease and slows down its progression. For the study, the researchers analysed the effects of diet supplemented with six percent and nine percent walnuts on mice. The supplementation is equivalent to one ounce (28.3 gram) and 1.5 ounces (42.5 gram) per day, respectively. The results indicated that the mice with the walnut-supplemented diet had significantly improved learning skills and memory. Their anxiety reduced along with improved motor development.

The research also suggested that high antioxidant level (3.7 mmol/ounce) in walnuts could be one of the contributing factors in protecting the brain from the degeneration, typically seen in Alzheimer's disease. According to Abha Chauhan from the New York State Institute for Basic Research in Developmental Disabilities (IBR), oxidative stress and inflammation are characteristic features of Alzheimer's disease. 'These findings are very promising and could help lay the groundwork for future human studies on walnuts and Alzheimer's disease - a disease for which there is no known cure,' Chauhan added. 'Our study adds to the growing body of research that demonstrates the protective effects of walnuts on cognitive functioning,' said . (Read: Exercise and diet may prevent Alzheimer s)

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This research stemmed from a previous cell culture study led by Chauhan that highlighted the protective effects of walnut extract against the oxidative damage caused by amyloid beta protein. The protein is the major component of amyloid plaques that form in the brains of those with Alzheimer's disease. (Read: How to reduce your risk of Alzheimer s disease)

Pillar#1: Regular exercise

Tips for getting started and sticking with your exercise plan.

Aim for at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise five times per week. Try walking, swimming, or any other activity that gets your heart rate up. Even routine activities such as gardening, cleaning, or doing laundry count as exercise.

Build muscle to pump help your brain. Moderate levels of weight and resistance training not only increase muscle mass, they help you keep your brain healthy. Combining aerobics and strength training is better than either activity alone. For those over 65, adding 2-3 strength sessions to your weekly routine may cut your risk of Alzheimer s in half.

Pillar #2: A healthy diet

Just like the rest of your body, your brain needs a nutritious diet to operate at its best. Focus on eating plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, lean protein, and healthy fats.

Eat to protect glial cells

Researchers believe that glial cells may help remove debris and toxins from the brain that can contribute to Alzheimer s disease. Consuming foods such as ginger, green tea, fatty fish, soy products, blueberries, and other dark berries may protect these important cells from damage.

Pillar #3: Mental stimulation

Those who continue learning new things throughout their life and challenge their brains are less likely to develop Alzheimer s disease and dementia, so make it a point to stay mentally active. In essence, your brain follows the use it or lose it principle.

Activities involving multiple tasks or requiring communication, interaction, and organization offer the greatest protection. Set aside time each day to stimulate your brain. Cross-training with brain-boosting activities will help keep you mentally sharp. Read more about 6 ways to prevent Alzheimer s

With inputs from IANS

Photo source: Getty images

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