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Best Foods that Help Fight Alzheimer’s Disease

written by: Harry Sylvester • edited by: Diana Cooper • updated: 2/1/2011

You might be surprised to know how healthy foods can help prevent humans from having this disease. By learning about the best foods that help fight Alzheimer’s disease, you can maintain a healthy life and have a chance of keeping this at bay.

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    What is Alzheimer’s Disease?

    Alzheimer’s disease, or senile dementia, is one of the most dangerous diseases leading to death. It will cause memory loss, destroy brain cells and create problems in human behavior. The disease is a progressive one and can get worse as it develops. It has no current cure but treatments for symptoms that are combined with the right support can slow down its effects. According to the National Institute on Aging, around 4.5 million Americans are suffering from this disease. Moreover, The Alzheimer’s Society explains that approximately 417,000 people in the UK are living with it. Therefore, it’s important to know about the best foods that help fight Alzheimer’s disease.

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    Omega-3 Fatty Acids

    Regular consumption of fish with omega-3 fatty acids will decrease the risk of this disease. The omega-3 fatty acid docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) in fish oil can increase the production of LR11, a protein that is known for destroying the harmful protein that forms the “plaques” in Alzheimer’s. Fatty fish, which is a deterrent against this disease, includes salmon, cod and tuna.

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    Vitamin B6

    If you’re looking for healthy food to avoid the disease, then you might choose food containing vitamin B6 like potatoes. They can decelerate this as well. A virus that infects potatoes is similar to one of the beneficial proteins associated with Alzheimer’s and researchers have used it to develop human antibodies. In addition, high concentrations of vitamin B6 in potatoes can break down homocysteine, which is an amino acid in the blood. High levels of homocysteine will accelerate the risk of dementia, but vitamin B6 in potatoes can reduce the risk instead.

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    Vitamin B12

    Vitamin B12 keeps red blood cells and nerve cells healthy. Meat, fish and poultry are good sources of vitamin B12. You can find vitamin B12 in some breakfast cereals. If you’re deficient in vitamin B12, you might have several symptoms like memory loss, which can result in this disease. Research shows that vitamin B12 can improve cognitive performance as well.

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    Flavonoids

    Certain flavonoids found in many fruits and vegetables, cocoa, red wine and tea can protect the brain. Flavonoids function as antioxidants. Consumption of green tea and grapes can help the sufferers improve cognitive performance. Cocoa is also beneficial in improving cognition due to a flavonoid known as epicatechin. A therapeutic benefit from epicatechin is to protect brain cells from damage so it’s helpful for these patients.

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    The Mediterranean Diet

    Health experts believe that people who consume a Mediterranean diet will reduce their risk for developing the disease. The Mediterranean diet can vary from country to country and it consists of high amounts of fruits, vegetables, nuts, pasta, cereals, legumes, fish and unsaturated fats like olive oil. Research also shows that people who practice the Mediterranean diet are likely to decrease their risk of mild cognitive impairment (MCI). The so-called MCI is a period between the cognitive decline of normal aging and brain problems. Eating a diet that closely follows the Mediterranean model will help you lower your risk for neurological diseases like Alzheimer’s and may lengthen survival in people with the disease.

    When preparing foods for your consumption, make sure you include the above-mentioned foods. You and your family will find it easy to prepare the best foods to help fight Alzheimer’s disease.

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    References

    The National Institute on Aging: General Information: http://www.nia.nih.gov/Alzheimers/AlzheimersInformation/GeneralInfo/

    Medical News Today: What is Alzheimer’s Disease? What Causes Alzheimer’s Disease: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/159442.php

    Science Daily: Anti-Alzheimer’s Mechanism in Omega-3 Fatty Acids Found: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/12/071226003611.htm

    Science Daily: Chemical Found in Fruit and Vegetables Offer Dementia Hope: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090710092530.htm

    Mayo Clinic: Vitamin B12: Can It Improve Memory in Alzheimer’s?: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/alzheimers/AN00478

    Mayo Clinic: Alzheimer’s: Can a Mediterranean Diet Lower My Risk?: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/alzheimers-disease/AN02036

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    Disclaimer

    Please read this disclaimer regarding the information contained within this article.