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November, Alzheimer’s awareness month


Did you know 800,000 people have dementia in the UK?  Apparently the numbers are set to soar to 1.7million by 2050, and one in three people over 65 will die with dementia, according to the Alzheimer’s Society.

Now is there something we can do to slow this down? According to the Alzheimer’s Society there is no cure.  But we want to understand is how we can prevent it, or at least slow it down right?

Dietary changes suggested by a recent study include:

  1. Eating more nuts, fish, tomatoes, poultry, vegetables (an anti-inflammatory diet)
  2. Eating less high fat dairy, red meat, organ meat, and butter (inflammatory diet)

A diet high in Omega 3 and 6, vitamin E, folate and B12 have been indicated in postponing Alzheimer’s disease.  Do you think it could be worth making these positive changes in an attempt to prevent one of the worst illnesses to be afflicted with?  Here’s some info to get you started:

Food plan to start you off on your Alzheimer’s prevention plan:

  1. Breakfast, organic oats soaked overnight in water, add a handful of blueberries and ground flaxseeds (providing omega 3, betaglucans, anthocyanin antioxidants, vitamin C, zinc, iron, lignans, magnesium all low glycaemic foods)
  2. Lunch brown rice, with baked salmon, egg, avocado and some salad like watercress, rocket and endive chopped up together with some olive oil and sea salt and lime and some crushed toasted hazel nuts. (providing omega 3,6 and 9, potassium, polyphenols, folate, vitamin E, vitamin C, vitamin K)
  3. Dinner: Thai chicken curry, with brown rice, papaya salad and broccoli, coconut rice pudding (providing zinc, potassium, medium chain fatty acids, fibre, vitamin C, folate, beta-carotene, vitamin B12)
    1. Drinks: green tea, jasmine tea, ginger tea, peppermint tea, rooibos tea, a little glass of organic red wine
    2. Snacks: tomato juice, celery, carrots, oatcakes, hummus, dark chocolate, apples, pears, blueberries.
    3. Raw nuts like almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, brazil nuts, pecans and seeds sesame seeds, pumpkins seeds and sunflower seeds, and flaxseeds (providing lycopene, l. theanine, antioxidants, selenium, calcium, magnesium, omega 6 and omega 3, zinc, magnesium and vitamin E, vitamin C, lignans, iron)

Often eating too much of the same things like bread or pasta, processed meats and refined sugar like boiled sweets, prevents us from eating the good stuff.  Have a go at the plan above and see how you get on.  Adopting different ways to include the foods identified by the studies, may really help your long term health, and may event prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.

Studies on alzheimer’s which may suggest dietary changes could help

Mangialasche F, Kivipelto M, Mecocci P, Rizzuto D, Palmer K, Winblad B, Fratiglioni L. High plasma levels of vitamin E forms and reduced Alzheimer’s disease risk in advanced age. J Alzheimers Dis. 2010;20(4):1029-37

Gu, Y., Nieves, J., Stern, Y., Luchsinger, J., & Scarmeas, N. (2010). Food Combination and Alzheimer Disease Risk: A Protective Diet Archives of Neurology DOI: 10.1001/archneurol.2010.84

Hu FB (2002). Dietary pattern analysis: a new direction in nutritional epidemiology. Current opinion in lipidology, 13 (1), 3-9 PMID: 11790957

Kalmijn S, Launer LJ, Ott A, Witteman JC, Hofman A, & Breteler MM (1997). Dietary fat intake and the risk of incident dementia in the Rotterdam Study. Annals of neurology, 42 (5), 776-82 PMID: 9392577

Solfrizzi V, Colacicco AM, D’Introno A, Capurso C, Torres F, Rizzo C, Capurso A, & Panza F (2006). Dietary intake of unsaturated fatty acids and age-related cognitive decline: a 8.5-year follow-up of the Italian Longitudinal Study on Aging. Neurobiology of aging, 27 (11), 1694-704 PMID: 16256248

Masaki KH, Losonczy KG, Izmirlian G; et al. Association of vitamin E and C supplement use with cognitive function and dementia in elderly men. Neurology.  2000;54(6):1265-1272

Bryan J, Calvaresi E. Associations between dietary intake of folate and vitamins B-12 and B-6 and self-reported cognitive function and psychological well-being in Australian men and women in midlife. J Nutr Health Aging. 2004;8(4):226-232

Corrada MM, Kawas C, Hallfrisch J, Muller D, Brookmeyer R. Reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease with high folate intake: the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging. Alzheimers Dement. 2005;1(1):11-18

Martins CA, Oulhaj A, de Jager CA, Williams JH. APOE alleles predict the rate of cognitive decline in Alzheimer disease: a nonlinear model. Neurology. 2005 Dec 27;65(12):1888-93


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