“Alzheimer’s is an irreversible, degenerative neurological disease that includes progressive loss of memory, social skills and cognitive abilities.”
- It is characterized by progressive loss of memories and thinking abilities.
- The pathological cause behind the disease is loss of brain cells and neurons with growing age. This is expressed as losing neuronal activity in some parts of brain along with shrinkage in brain size.
- Usually, the onset of disease is at 50 to 60 yrs. of age.
- The most frequently found symptoms of Alzheimer’s are Dementia like loss of memory, inability to perform daily life functions like brushing teeth, using toilet, eating and talking etc.
- The patient may get episodes of memory revival for a few hours or even days. However, the loss of memory is usually irreversible.
Causes for Alzheimer’s:
Alzheimer’s is a degenerative neurological disease with a wide range of symptoms. The causative factors for the disease are as follows:
Genetic History: It is a hereditary disease passed on from one generation to another. The severity of disease may vary from one patient to the other in the same family. Sometimes, serious cases of Dementia may complicate with symptoms of Alzheimer’s as well.
Age: Usually, the appearance of symptoms starts from age 50 to onward. However, the chances of getting the disease increases substantially after the age of 65. Early onset condition can occur from as young as even 40 yrs. of age.
Head Trauma: The disease is also found in people who have had severe head trauma and injury. Some professional sports also involve head injury such as wrestling etc. The prevalence of disease in such sports is also extremely high.
Prevention of disease:
Alzheimer’s being a hereditary disease leaves a very little room for prevention of disease. However, for those who do not have a family history of the disease can adopt an array of lifestyle and dietary choices to prevent the disease from occurring esp. after the age of 50 yrs.
Some of the foods that have proven their worth in achieving this goal include:
Omega-3 Fatty acids:
Foods containing omega-3 Fatty acids have a wide range of neurological benefits. However, our body cannot synthesize the compound on its own and therefore, needs external supplementation. Omega-3 have a proven to provide protection against neurodegenerative diseases such as Dementia, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s diseases etc. The neuronal nerve endings have a layer of lipids on them necessary for the transfer of signal from one neuron to other up until the receiving organs. Insufficient omega-3 can increase the chances of neuronal death.
Following are some of the foods containing omega-3:
- Plant oils are a rich source for omega-3 such a Flaxseed oil, Soybean oil, Canola oil
- Nuts such as Almonds, Walnuts
- Seeds and beans such as Chia seeds, flaxseed, soy beans
- Fish and fish oils are also an extremely rich source such as Mackerel, Cod liver oil, salmon, anchovies, oysters, sardines etc.
Leafy green Vegetables:
Green-leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale, cabbage, watercress etc. have proven their worth time and time again in preventing different diseases. We all hated when the mom used to say ‘Eat your Greens’ but the fact of the matter is that greens keep us happy and healthy.
Cardiovascular diseases are a major contributing factor in onset of dementia and Alzheimer’s. Reduced oxygenation and blood supply can immensely damage the neuronal network in the brain and CNS. This have proven to trigger the onset of Alzheimer’s.
Plant based diet can help combat the cardiovascular and blood pressure diseases and thus help avoid Alzheimer’s.
Over the years’ researches have proved the importance of eating a bowl of berries such as blue berry, strawberry, raspberry and Acai berries. They are a healthy source of energy without increasing the blood sugar considerably. It has been observed that eating a few portions of berries once a day can help avoid impairment of cognitive behavior and memory loss.
Turmeric contains a compound such as Demethoxycurcumin, curcumin and bisdemethoxycurcumin that have proven to reduce oxidative stress on neurons which is a major cause for neuronal cell death. They have the potential to decrease the accumulation of amyloid proteins that cause the hindrance in transfer of neurotransmitters as well. Thus, turmeric intake can help improve transmission of impulses in brain and spinal cord.
Polyphenols containing foods:
Over the years, polyphenols have been proven their worth by their exemplary health benefits. Polyphenols contain many beneficial compounds however; Flavonoids are the most useful ones. These are important for the use in preventing Cardiovascular diseases, neurodegenerative diseases, improving digestion and kidney functions.
Alzheimer’s is sometimes triggered by any neurological anomaly such as inconsistent neurotransmitter release and /or their synapses to other neurons, excess of amyloid proteins in CNS, blockade of electrical impulses etc. polyphenols such as Catechins, L-theanine and other flavonoids have the potential to improve the concentration of happy-neurotransmitters such as Dopamine that can improve cognitive abilities.
In addition, combination of polyphenols with caffeine have shown to provide the right amount of mental alertness and availability.
The Berry-ollatz Conjecture
- 1 cup blackberries
- 1 cup raspberries
- 1 cup blueberries
- 1 cup strawberries
- 2 pomegranates
- Clean all fruits and vegetables thoroughly
- Cut the pomegranate into quarters
- Then place them in a bowl of water
- Remove the seeds under water, so that they sink to the bottom
- Discard the peel and membranes
- Place a mesh strainer over the bowl, and pour the seed mixture through the strainer.
- Feed the ingredients one at a time, into the juicer. Note some juicer may not be able to juice pomegranate seeds. Please refer to user manual.
- Stir the juice thoroughly before consuming
- Drink right away or freeze it in an air tight containers.
Some of the polyphenols containing foods are as follows:
- Green tea
- Black currant
- Lettuce esp. red lettuce
- Whole wheat
Thus, in conclusion, a healthy diet can help delay the onset of symptoms and in some cases even stop them from worsening.