Last Updated on December 31, 2020
Alzheimer’s is one of the most feared diseases of modern times and for very good reasons. It not only causes brain cells to gradually degenerate, but it also has a huge impact on the patient’s relatives and closed ones as they watch the disease develop from mere difficulty in remembering recent events (the most common Alzheimer symptom) to complete disorientation and long-term memory loss.
The disease affects about 6% of people above 65 years old, and there are currently 5.8 million people living with Alzheimer’s disease in the United States of America – that number is expected to rise to 14 million in the next 30 years. Alzheimer’s disease makes up about 65% of dementia cases and is one of the most financially costly conditions in developed countries. In the last year, it has cost the United States government more than 290 billion dollars.
Since there is no known treatment for Alzheimer’s disease and life expectancy after diagnosis ranges from 3 to 10 years, it is very important to work on its prevention. As with most conditions, adopting healthy lifestyle habits is the way to go. Read on.
Abruptly adopting a healthy diet is far from being an easy task. That is exactly why there should be a strong focus on educating people for a healthy lifestyle so that those habits start being built from a young age. The benefits of a balanced and healthy diet (such as the Mediterranean diet) in preventing dementia were already vastly studied. But a recent study published in the journal Alzheimer’s & Dementia has collected significant data from over 900 people between the ages of 58 and 98, which lead the team of researchers to develop the MIND (Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay) plan. It is a diet that they believe may reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease by more than 50%. It can be easily divided into brain-healthy foods and unhealthy food groups. Foods to eat: green leafy vegetables, nuts (a tasty and healthy snack), berries, whole grains, beans, poultry, fish, olive oil, red wine (no more than one glass per day!). Foods to avoid: red meat, butter, cheese, pastries, fried food. The importance of combining regular exercising with a healthy diet cannot be stressed enough, as those are two crucial habits one must have to reach an advanced age with the physical and mental strength to enjoy life’s final stage fully.