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Is Alzheimer’s Connected to Diet?

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A healthy diet is definitely good for all parts of the body, including the brain, which is one of the reasons seniors are often advised to incorporate nutrient-rich foods into their diets to reduce their risk of developing dementia-related conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease (AD). But are there actual links between diet and Alzheimer’s? Recent research suggests this may be the case.

A Larger Study Presents Compelling Evidence

The Journal of Biological Chemistry reported a study involving mice showed positive diet changes reversed Alzheimer’s-like symptoms. However, a University of California study was the first of its kind to suggest a more conclusive link between Alzheimer’s and diet in humans. Researchers made this conclusion after evaluating 6,000 participants who were cognitively healthy when the study began by tracking eating habits and the development of Alzheimer’s symptoms.

If your loved one has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, help is just a phone call away. There are many reasons seniors might need assistance at home. Some may require regular mental stimulation due to an Alzheimer’s diagnosis, while others might only need part-time assistance with exercise and basic household tasks. Home Care Assistance is a leading elder care provider. Families rely on our expertly trained caregivers to help their senior loved ones maintain a high quality of life.

Certain Foods Can Negatively Affect the Brain

Alzheimers.net cites research suggesting certain foods can affect memory and possibly increase the risk of developing Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. The main culprits include:

• Processed foods
• Bread, flour, rice, and other white foods
• Sugary beverages and snacks
• Refined carbohydrates

The reason it’s best for older adults to minimize their intake of such foods is because these items are associated with inflammation. This type of swelling could impede blood flow to the brain, which could then affect brain cell health and growth and increase susceptibility to developing Alzheimer’s.

Compounds Found in Certain Foods May Also Be AD Triggers

Rhode Island Hospital researchers noted a link between increased death rates from certain diseases, including Alzheimer’s, and compounds known as nitrites and nitrates. Foods like cured meats and bacon contain sizable amounts of these chemicals. Alzheimers.net notes foods containing a compound known as diacetyl may have a similar effect. This particular compound is primarily found in foods like microwave popcorn that have artificial butter flavoring.

If your loved one needs help preparing nutritious meals, a home caregiver can be a wonderful source of support. In Pembroke Pines, elderly home care agencies can be a great boon to seniors. With the help of the caregivers at Home Care Assistance, your aging loved one can lead a happier and healthier life. We offer a revolutionary program called the Balanced Care Method, which encourages seniors to eat nutritious foods, exercise and socialize regularly, and focus on other lifestyle factors that increase life expectancy.

A Combination of Two Popular Diets Could Lower Alzheimer’s Risk

The Mayo Clinic cites research suggesting older adults may lower their AD risk by combining elements of two popular diets: the DASH diet, which is normally recommended to lower blood pressure, and the Mediterranean diet, which is associated with increased heart health. Researchers looked at foods associated with both of these diets and found many of them have the potential to boost cognitive health and certain memory-related abilities. In fact, observational studies suggest the MIND diet, which is a combination of the DASH and Mediterranean diets, could reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s by nearly 55 percent. MIND diet guidelines include:

• Having leafy green veggies at least six times a week
• Enjoying berries twice a week and non-leafy green vegetables every other day
• Limiting butter/margarine intake to less than a tablespoon a day
• Eating poultry twice a week and fish once a week
• Using olive oil for cooking 

If you’re the primary caregiver for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease, you don’t have to go through it alone. Without the right assistance, Alzheimer’s can be challenging for seniors and their families to handle. If you’re looking for professional Alzheimer’s care, Pembroke Pines Home Care Assistance provides high-quality care aging adults and their families can count on. All of our hourly and live-in caregivers are trained to help seniors with Alzheimer’s live happier and healthier lives, and we also provide specialized dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care. If your loved one needs professional home care, Home Care Assistance is here to help. To hire a compassionate, dedicated caregiver, call us at (954) 374-8273 today.