Foods That Heal ~ about Alzheimer’s Disease & Mind Altering Diets
Every 70 seconds someone will develop Alzheimer’s disease. It affects approximately 53 million people in the U.S. It is an irreversible, degenerative brain disease that gradually destroys a person’s memory and thinking skills, and their intellectual and social abilities severe enough that it interferes with normal, daily functions.
About 5% of people between the ages of 65 and 74 have it, while nearly half the people over the age of 85 have the tragic disease. There is no known cure for Alzheimer’s and no way to predict how fast a person will progress through the stages of the disease.
Research has shown that many of the same factors that increase our risk of heart disease can also increase our risk of degenerative brain disease ~ mainly blood pressure, cholesterol and blood glucose levels.
Up until several years ago our pharmaceutical industry friends were injecting people with a drug which ended up causing serious inflammation of the brain in some of the poor guinea pigs. Drugs are not the answer.
Martha Clare Morris, of Rush University Medical Center, investigated the connection between food and the brain, specifically Alzheimer’s. She explains, “I’ve always been very interested in research that is directed at ways people can manage their own lives to prevent disease rather than focusing on what therapies they can use once they have it.” Surveying 6,000 people initially unaffected by Alzheimer’s, her findings confirm the findings of many other scientific studies on the relationship with diet and disease: Memory loss, disorientation and confusion are not an inevitable part of aging but they are problems linked with diet and lifestyle.
In the past two decades, researchers have produced a large body of evidence linking diet and health. Studies have shown that diet and environment plays an important role in cognitive disorders, more so than genetics. Studies have also shown that the health of our arteries and vessels that transport blood to and from our brains is dependent on how well we eat.
Who would not want to have good health and independence throughout life? Having good health and independence means eating a truly healthy diet today. We can prevent and slow disease with diet. Studies strongly indicate that plant-based foods are critical for optimal brain and vascular function.
Foods rich in vitamin E are essential (green leafy veggies, cantaloupe, seeds & nuts). Vitamin E is an antioxidant found almost exclusively in plant foods.
n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in fish should be consumed several times a week.
Vitamin C is required for the growth and repair of tissues in all parts of your body. Excellent sources of vitamin C include: papaya, red bell peppers, broccoli, brussels sprouts, strawberries, oranges, cantaloupe, kiwi, cauliflower, and kale (listed in order of most vit C.)
Selenium is a mineral that also reduces free radical activity, supports our thyroid and helps reduce our risk of joint inflammation. It is found in: Brazil nuts (one of the most concentrated sources) button mushrooms, shitake mushrooms, cod, shrimp, snapper, tuna, salmon and halibut.
Folate ~ folic acid is a compound derived exclusively from plant-based foods.
Beta-Carotenes (Vitamin A) are the strongly-colored red-orange pigment abundant in plants and fruits.
Eat Apricots, Cherries and Mangoes in particular, also green plants, carrots, sweet potatoes, squash, spinach and bell peppers.
Note: There are 10 warning signs and having any one of these signs should be a trigger to see a doctor:
1. Disruptive Memory Loss: the most common sign of this disease is memory loss, especially forgetting recently learned information, and includes forgetting important dates or events, and asking the same questions over and over.
2. Challenges in Planning or Solving Problems: may have trouble concentrating and take much longer than usual to do a familiar task, experience trouble with their ability to develop and follow a plan or work with numbers.
3. Difficulty Completing Familiar Tasks: have trouble driving to a familiar location, managing a budget at work or remembering the rules to a favorite game.
4. Confusion with Time or Place: lose track of dates, seasons and the passing of time.
5. Trouble Understanding Visual Images and Spatial Relationships: begin to have difficulty reading, judging distance, determining color or contrast and sometimes they will walk past a mirror and think someone else is in the room ~ not realize it is their own reflection.
6. New Problems with Words in Speaking or Writing: may begin to have trouble following or entering a conversation, use incorrect or unusual words, repeat themselves, stop in the middle of a conversation and not know how to start it again.
7. Misplacing Things and Losing the Ability to Retrace Steps: may put things in unusual places…occurring more frequently over time.
8. Decreased or Poor Judgment: may give large sums of money away to telemarketers, pay less attention to personal hygiene and grooming.
9. Withdrawal from Work or Social Activities: may have trouble keeping up with hobbies, favorite sports teams, work projects, etc.
10. Changes in Mood and Personality: becoming confused, suspicious, depressed, fearful or anxious or easily upset.
Eat smart and live well!