Dementia diet: The 50p snack to halt risk of Alzheimer’s
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According to the Alzheimer’s Society, one in six people over the age of 80 in the UK has some form of dementia. Although people think of dementia as forgetfulness and confusion as a person gets older, the symptoms can be far-reaching, and dementia is the leading cause of death in the UK. However, by following a new diet, and eating this plant-based snack every day, you could cut your risk of developing the condition.
Almost one million Britons are living with some form of dementia.
There is currently no cure for dementia, but research has revealed more about the risk factors making you more likely to develop the condition.
One of the most effective measures you can take to cut your risk of developing dementia is changing your diet.
The Alzheimers Society says: “The best way to reduce your risk of dementia is to adapt various aspects of your lifestyle, including eating certain foods, taking regular exercise, not smoking, and maintaining normal blood pressure and cholesterol levels.”
According to the Alzheimer’s Society, delaying the onset of Alzheimer’s disease through lifestyle changes could save tens of thousands of lives each year.
A diet focusing on eating whole foods and healthy fats is credited with fighting inflammation in the body, including in the brain.
But one snack in particular has been suggested as a superfood for reducing your risk of Alzheimer’s: what is it?
Walnuts are credited with improving your brain health as you get older.
These nuts contain a unique combination of plant-based substances to support brain function.
Walnuts are higher in antioxidants than any other common type of nut: they’re also full of omega-3 fats and can fight inflammation.
Studies have shown the polyphenols, vitamin E and polyunsaturated fats in walnuts can halt oxidative damage and reduce inflammation in the brain.
One study looking at Alzheimer’s disease found feeding mice walnuts saw “significant” improvements in their cognition, memory and anxiety levels.
Eating walnuts has also been linked to lower cholesterol levels, with studies suggesting eating around 40 grams of walnuts per day could bring your reading down.
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Other nuts are also recommended as a healthy snack to reach for between meals, though walnuts are top of the list when it comes to health benefits.
Because nuts are high in healthy fats and protein, they should keep you satisfied until your next meal.
The MIND diet, often recommended for protecting brain function and preventing dementia, advocates for a portion of nuts daily.
This diet promotes eating natural, whole foods, plenty of fruit, vegetables and healthy fats while avoiding processed foods.
The main foods of the MIND diet are:
- Vegetables – everyday
- Berries – at least twice a week
- Nuts – five times a week
- Olive oil – everyday, this should be your primary cooking oil
- Whole grains – three times a day
- Fish – at least once a week
- Beans – at least four times a week
- Poultry – at least twice a week
- Wine – a maximum of one glass every day
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