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Alzheimer’s and Nutrition – What You Deserve to Know

 In General

by Dharma Singh Khalsa, M.D.

There have
been many studies recently linking Alzheimer’s disease and nutrition. More and more,
the evidence overwhelmingly indicates that proper nutrition is essential to
maintaining a healthy brain:  it plays a
major role in cognition, memory, and various neurological disorders — including
Alzheimer’s disease.

I am a
strong proponent of the link between Alzheimer’s and nutrition. I have found
that a proper diet is one of the main keys to Alzheimer’s prevention and that a
proper diet should consist of the following:

1. 20% “good” fat, such as extra
virgin olive oil, avocado, and flax seed oil

2. 40% lean protein, such as fish,
chicken, turkey, and soy

3. 40% complex carbohydrates, such as
fresh vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and fresh fruits

4. “Super
foods” for the brain, such as blueberries, spinach, and seaweed

Furthermore,
it is important to avoid a diet high in trans-fat and saturated fat, since
these fats produce free radicals in your body. High quantities of free radicals
have been known to damage and even kill brain cells.

Omega-3
fatty acids, found primarily in fish, have been shown to drastically decrease
your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. In fact, simply eating one fish
meal per week can result in a 60% reduction in your risk of developing
Alzheimer’s.

I also
recommend that everyone should take a high potency multiple vitamin containing
vitamin C and folic acid.

Get Your Antioxidants

A diet rich
in antioxidants is also important. It has been found to drastically lower your
risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

Antioxidants
eliminate free radicals from your body. Your body naturally produces free
radicals as a by-product of normal cell functioning. However, when produced in
large quantities, free radicals can cause such debilitating diseases as cancer,
Parkinson’s disease, and Alzheimer’s.

Vitamins C
and E are both an excellent source of antioxidants. Vitamin E is fat soluble,
and can be found in vegetable and nut oils, spinach, and whole grain products.
Vitamin C is water soluble, and can be found in citrus fruits, tomatoes,
spinach, and red peppers.

These
vitamins more effectively help prevent Alzheimer’s when obtained from actual
foods instead of from supplements. Research shows that when taken together,
vitamins C and E can reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s disease by 20%.

Diets that
are low in fat and cholesterol and high in fiber will also help prevent
Alzheimer’s by reducing oxidative stress. Oxidative stress can cause an
increase in the production of free radicals in your body.

High fat and
cholesterol diets impair learning and memory performance. Plus, diets high in
fat and cholesterol have been shown to triple your risk of developing
Alzheimer’s disease.

A diet rich
in niacin will help prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s. However, research
indicates that it is more beneficial to receive niacin from foods than from
supplements. Niacin-rich foods include lean meat, fish, poultry, peanuts,
omega-E-enriched eggs, whole grain products, beans and peas, avocados, dates,
figs, and prunes.

Supplements to Know About

Ginkgo
biloba extract is an excellent antioxidant and works well to improve cognitive
performance.

The following
supplements have also proven very effective in improving cognitive functioning
and memory:  alpha GFC (alpha
glycerylphosphorylcholine), N-acetyl-L-carnitine, lipoic acid, DHA
(docosahexaenoic acid), and phosphatidylserine.

Medical
researchers are still hard at work trying to determine the exact cause of
Alzheimer’s disease. But one thing has already been determined with
certainty:  there is a strong link
between Alzheimer’s and nutrition.

The mission
of the non-profit Alzheimer’s Research and Prevention Foundation is to help you
prevent the development of Alzheimer’s. Paying careful attention to your diet
is one important way you can drastically reduce your risk for this debilitating
disease.

 

 

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