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Eat Away Dementia?

It turns out that just swallowing some vitamins will not necessarily protect your brain from Alzheimer’s and dementia. However, giving your body specific nutrients and molecules from certain foods, just might help you remember which driveway is yours.

According to studies done at OHSU in Portland, people in their late 80s with higher blood levels of B, C, D and E vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids (found in good fats) did better on cognitive tests and had less of the brain shrinkage typical of Alzheimer’s Disease.

It seems that those who ate a Mediterranean type diet higher vegetables, fruits, small amounts of meat and fish, whole grains, nuts and olive oil, had less small blood-vessel damage in the brain.

Results in a nut shell–Try to eat:

Leafy greens and vegetables like cabbage and cauliflower.

Beans and green peas provide a rich dietary source of B-complex vitamins (Older adults should consider taking B-12 supplements.)

Oranges and orange juice are a convenient and inexpensive source of ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) as are tangerines, limes, lemons and other citrus fruits.

Swedish scientists at Lund University reported that in laboratory mice, vitamin C actually dissolves toxic plaques of the kind that accumulate in the brains of human Alzheimer’s patients.

Almonds and other nuts for Vitamin E which occurs naturally in nuts and avocados, but the most common sources are healthy vegetable oils, like olive, canola and sunflower. Studies have shown that people with the highest blood levels of Vitamin E have a reduced risk of developing Alzheimer’s.

Oily cold-water fish, such as salmon, herring and mackerel, eaten once or twice a week.  Omega 3’s can help prevent a type of dementia that is driven by blood vessel disease by healing the blood vessels themselves.

Spinach is packed with at least 15 different antioxidant compounds known as flavonoids, which have been shown to inhibit the formation of the plaques that build up in those with Alzheimer’s disease.

Caffeinated coffee decreased blood levels of a plaque-forming protein and even reduced Alzheimer’s-like cognitive impairment.

Sun-Just 15 minutes of bathing sunscreen-free arms and legs in the sun a few times a week generates plenty of the vitamin. If you can’t spend a little time in the sun, nutritionists suggest a vitamin D supplement: 600 to 800 international units (I.U.) a day will suffice for most people, but your doctor may recommend 1,000, 2,000 or even 4,000  I.U. per day.

UCLA scientists have found that when paired with curcumin, the active ingredient in the spice turmeric, vitamin D may help trigger the immune system to clear Alzheimer’s plaques in brain tissue.

Age is a state of mind. Aging is a treatable condition.