Several factors have been linked to the risk of developing Alzheimer’s Disease including older age, genetic factors, family history, a history of head trauma, midlife hypertension, obesity, diabetes and high cholesterol. Studies have also suggested that diet and lifestyle factors may influence risk.
So what can I eat to reduce my chances of developing Alzheimer’s Disease?
- Minimise your intake of saturated and transfats. Saturated fat is found primarily in foods made from animals such as meat, processed meat, dairy and butter. It is also found in coconut and palm oils. Trans fat can be found in commercially made biscuits, cakes, pastries and deep fried foods. They are listed on the ingredients list as “partially hydrogenated oils”.
- Vegetables, legumes (beans, peas and lentils), fruits and wholegrains should replace meats and dairy products as primary staples of the diet.
- Vitamin E should come from foods rather than supplements. Sources of vitamin E in food include seeds, nuts, leafy green vegetables and wholegrains.
- Regularly check vitamin B12 levels. B12 is found in some fortified breakfast cereals, plant milks and supplements. It is also found in meat and dairy. Many things can affect vitamin B12 absorption including surgery, medications and certain diseases such as Crohn’s Disease and Coeliac Disease. Some individuals will require vitamin B12 injections as diet and supplements may not be enough.
- If using multiple vitamin supplements, avoid ones with copper and or iron and only consume iron supplements if directed by your doctor. As excessive intake of iron and copper may contribute to cognitive decline.
- Whilst the role of aluminium and alzheimer’s disease remains under investigation it is recommended to avoid use of aluminium cookware, antacids, baking powder or other products that contain aluminium.
- Include aerobic exercise in your routine. 40 minutes of brisk walking, three times per week.