11 Foods That can Reduce or Raise Your Risk of Dementia

Ross Quade | Health | 22 Jun, 2015 | No Comments

Various studies have determined that while some foods help boost people’s memory, especially those with Alzheimer’s, other types of food can actually increase the risk of the disease. These harmful foods are also linked to other health issues, which make it that much more critical that you remove them or severely limit them from your diet, as well as encourage your older loved ones to remove them as well. Eating a healthy diet filled with vegetables and fruits will benefit more than just your waistline, it will improve your overall heart health and lower your risk of diabetes, cancer and other serious diseases. Healthy foods also do a lot to keep your mind healthy. Research has found that making bad food choices on the other hand will increase your chance of developing Alzheimer’s disease and have a significant impact on your memory overall.

Why Some Food Induces Memory Loss

The brain needs fuel to function properly. It requires fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, healthy fats, minerals and vitamins to run smoothly. If you don’t consume enough of these foods and too much processed foods, carbohydrates and sugar it will induce toxin production in your body. Such toxins can cause inflammation in the brain, which is the buildup of plaque inside the brain that causes loss of cognitive function.

Foods That Cause Memory Loss

The bad news is that the foods that have the most significant impact on memory are the most common staples in the typical American diet. Pasta, processed meats and cheeses, white bread and processed food in general all have been linked to causing Alzheimer’s disease. Here is a list of foods you should avoid due to the fact that they’ve been linked to Alzheimer’s disease.

Processed Cheeses

This includes mozzarella sticks, Cheese Whiz, American cheese and Laughing Cow. Processed cheese has been linked to a substantial increase in bad proteins in the body, which have been found to increase your chances of developing Alzheimer’s’ disease.

Processed Meats

This includes deli counter meats like smoked turkey, ham and bacon. Any type of smoked meat contains nitrosamines. This chemical causes the liver to make bad fats that are highly toxic to the brain. It’s important to not start your children on the pathway to Alzheimer’s by avoiding processed lunchmeat in their diet as much as possible.

Beer

Having an ice cold beer at the end of a long workday can be a nice reward, however make sure not to overdo it as the nitrates that most beer contains have been linked to Alzheimer’s. Try to find beer that doesn’t contain nitrates in its ingredients list to completely avoid this chemical.

White Flour Foods

This includes cakes, white sugar, white rice, pasta and white bread. Consuming too much of these will cause a large spike in your insulin production that will send a flood of toxins into the brain. Some experts even believe that whole-grain bread is just as bad as white bread at causing Alzheimer’s due to the fact that it spikes blood sugar and thus causes inflammation.

Microwave Popcorn

Microwave popcorn has diacetyl in it, which is a chemical that increases amyloid plaques inside the brain. Researchers have found that too much amyloid plaque has been linked to Alzheimer’s disease. It is the flavor that makes the popcorn have its signature buttery taste that is the root cause of its toxicity. If you are craving popcorn then try the air popped variety instead.

Healthy Foods That Will Aid Your Memory 

Changing your diet is never an easy thing to do, Especially if you’ve been eating the same things for many years. However, by slowly removing the food that’s cause memory loss and eating more foods that help your memory improve, you will enjoy an overall healthier body and mind. Here is a list of healthy foods that will boost memory for not only older adults, but also the population as a whole.

Beans

Beans, as well as green peas are a great source of B complex vitamins. These vitamins help protect the brain against shrinkage, As well as maintain steady blood sugar levels and a strong nervous system. Folic acid and thymine can also be consumed from enriched cereals and grain products.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is one of the most common antioxidants, and it is essential for healthy blood vessel functioning and skin. There have also been studies done that have found that Vitamin C protects against dementia causing brain plaque as well. Limes, lemons and oranges are an easy and delicious source of this vitamin. Strawberries, broccoli, sweet peppers, leafy greens, tomatoes and cantaloupe are also great sources.

Almonds

Almonds are chock full of vitamin E, which promotes healthy blood vessel functioning. Studies have found that people who have significant amounts of Vitamin E in their blood levels have a lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Consuming Vitamin E can also help to slow down the progression of the disease. You can easily add vitamin E into your diet with avocados and nuts.

 Fish

Omega-3 fatty acids that are found in fish reduce brain inflammation, as well as other inflammation in the body. Studies have found that people with lower levels of omega-3 have increased brain shrinkage and do worse on memory tests than people with higher levels. Try to eat cold water, fatty fish, like cod, salmon, herring and mackerel at least once a week. Researchers have also found that clams are a great source of Vitamin B12, and so can be added to a healthy diet.

Spinach

Spinach has at least 15 various antioxidant compounds better known as flavonoids. These have been found to slow down the creation of amyloid plaque that builds up in people who have Alzheimer’s disease. Spinach is also rich in vitamins K and A, iron and folic acid.

Coffee

Don’t feel guilty about drinking your morning cup of coffee as studies have found it may protect against Alzheimer’s disease. One study done at the University of South Florida found that seniors with some cognitive impairment who drank at least 3 cups of coffee a day had much less of a chance of developing full-blown Alzheimer’s disease over the next four years than those who didn’t drink coffee. If you don’t like coffee then dark chocolate can also do the trick.

Blueberries

Studies have found that foods that are rich in anti-inflammatory and antioxidant components affect many age-related changes inside of the brain. Blueberries are one fruit that has substantial amounts of antioxidants. Cranberries and strawberries have also been found to improve cognitive function.

Where Do You Go From Here? 

The key to avoiding Alzheimer’s disease is moderation. On top of this, being in tune with your body’s natural needs and thinking about food as required fuel for your body to run smoothly is important. Every once in a while it’s understandable to splurge on unhealthy food items such as processed foods. However, it’s critical that you understand the importance of putting actual nourishment into your body, and not junk food that will cause you harm. The fact that you can increase your chance of avoiding Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia should motivate you to be proactive and avoid Alzheimer’s promoting foods.

 




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