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Dementia: Doctor outlines changes to help prevent disease

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Cognitive decline is one of the earliest noticeable symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. There are many different types of dementia, with the most prevalent being Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia. Here’s what to eat if you want to protect yourself against cognitive decline.

The type of diet beneficial for brain health is the Mediterranean diet, according to various research.

The Mediterranean diet is typical for traditional healthy lifestyles of people living around the Mediterranean Sea.

In general, this diet involves eating vegetables, fruits, legumes, accutane acne clearing nuts, beans, cereals and grains, the NHS explains.

The diet tends to be low in meat and dairy foods but it includes plenty of fish.

One study linking the Mediterranean diet to cognition was published in Alzheimer’s & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association.

This research found that following a strict Mediterranean diet can keep the brain almost six years younger.

However, this study also noticed that if you eat too much of the Western diet, it can lessen the benefits.

Western diet describes fried foods, sweets, red and processed meats, or full-fat dairy.

Now, new research has found that following a healthy Mediterranean diet can help protect against cognitive decline.

The study, published in the British Journal of Nutrition, looked at more than 900 adults facing cognitive decline over a period of about three years.

Participants were given a score based on how closely their food choices followed the Mediterranean diet.

The research team then compared this to the participants’ cognitive health, including memory and language.

The evidence suggests that those with a score that was 10 points higher saw a seven percent slower cognitive decline within a year.

In fact, each additional vegetable serving in a day was linked to more than two percent reduction in cognitive decline.

This new study adds to the growing research on the benefits of the Mediterranean diet for brain health.

Another recent body of research from the University of Edinburgh found this diet is also linked to better thinking skills later in life.

Even though following this healthy diet may protect against one symptom of dementia, there are also other measures you can take.

According to Alzheimer’s Society, these six practises may help cut your overall risk of developing dementia as a whole:

  • Doing physical activity
  • Eating healthily
  • Ditching smoking
  • Drinking less alcohol
  • Staying mentally and socially active
  • Taking control of your health.

If you suspect having dementia, it’s important to get a diagnosis from your doctor promptly as this can help later on, the NHS explains.

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