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Alzheimer’s & Nutrition: What To Eat To Prevent & Slow The Course Of Disease

Is there an Alzheimer’s prevention diet? Here’s how to prevent disease with food and help sufferers eat well. Alzheimer’s disease is a disabling neurodegenerative disease that affects adults in old age but can occur early in some cases. Alzheimer’s is the most common form of senile dementia, which manifests itself with the progressive impairment of nerve and brain functions. The disease’s course initially presents irrelevant symptoms, compromises the average performance of daily activities, making even the simplest operations such as dressing and eating impossible.

Since modern medicine has not yet been able to identify a cure that can block the action of the beta-amyloid protein responsible for the destruction of nerve cells, it seems that the only possible weapon against Alzheimer’s is prevention. As with all ailments afflicting the body and mind, this passes through nutrition and lifestyle. Alzheimer’s and nutrition are, in fact, closely linked. Scientific studies have shown that a balanced diet and an active lifestyle can lower the levels of the killer protein in the blood and prevent its accumulation in the brain.

Given the long incubation period, it would be advisable to take action well in advance and take care of one’s diet from an early age, especially if there are cases of Alzheimer’s in the family.

So let’s see how to prevent the development of Alzheimer’s with nutrition and how to behave at the table if you take care of a person suffering from this disorder.

Alzheimer’s And Nutrition: Prevention Begins At The Table

Following a correct diet, which for specialists translates into the Mediterranean diet, can reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease in the elderly by 40%.  It has been shown that unbalanced diets based on foods rich in cholesterol and saturated fats can favor the formation of beta-amyloid plaques and soon cause the neuronal oxidation responsible for the disease.

On the contrary, regularly consuming lean meat and fish, fiber and vegetables, whole grains, and all those foods that provide the body with the proper nutrients can prevent or slow down the onset of brain atrophy. In this context, omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins play a fundamental role, particularly D, essential for cognitive functions. The former, contained in abundance in fish, extra virgin olive oil, and dried fruit, help keep the membrane of neurons fluid and act to counteract the atrophying action of the protein.

Vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants protect against free radicals and cell aging, mainly contained in plant foods. It has been shown that some foods, such as grapes, rich in polyphenols, help keep the brain’s metabolism active and remove the risk of developing the disease. Therefore, among the foods that prevent Alzheimer’s, we find:

  1. Fish – Omega-3 rich salmon, sardines, and tuna;
  2. Crustaceans – clams, mussels, and oysters rich in vitamin B12
  3. Green leafy vegetables – spinach, asparagus, chard, turnip greens rich in vitamins and folic acid;
  4. Egg;
  5. Olive oil, nuts, and oilseeds.

Along with nutrition, Alzheimer’s can be prevented by maintaining an active lifestyle and playing sports regularly, especially if you have a sedentary job.

How To Take Care Of An Alzheimer’s Patient At The Table

Nutrition is also a critical issue for those suffering from the disease. While eating is the most natural operation in the world for an Alzheimer’s patient, the process is no longer so simple and automatic. Impaired brain functions mean that those affected by the disorder can no longer manage their meals independently and feed themselves. In this case, support is essential for those who assist him, but this must happen with discretion and without force.

Therefore, it is possible to take care of an Alzheimer’s patient and his diet by helping him keep active his faculties not yet compromised, transforming the moment of the meal into a friendly and pleasant occasion. In this sense, some tricks can be practiced to help manage the situation without causing frustration. For example, forcing the elderly to use cutlery or feeding him if he cannot do so on his own is a gesture that can cause embarrassment and trigger an adverse reaction.

To do this, you can plan to prepare foods that can be eaten this way while avoiding more complex dishes such as spaghetti (which must be rolled up). Likewise, it is advisable to create a relaxed atmosphere to entice the patient to eat. Putting some music on, getting help in preparing meals or the table if possible, and using colored plates and glasses are all gestures that involve the elderly and make them feel autonomous and valuable. Finally, since dementia can lead to the patient forgetting to drink and eat, it is advisable to create routines that encourage him to eat and hydrate sufficiently.

ALSO READ- ESSENTIAL AMINO ACIDS: WHAT ARE THEY, AND WHY ARE THEY NECESSARY FOR THE BODY?

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