Dementia prevention: Nutritional Therapist reveals 10 ways to reduce your dementia risk

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Dementia prevention: Nutritional Therapist reveals 10 ways to reduce your dementia risk 1

Dementia is set to affect 152 million people by 2050, says the World Alzheimer’s Report. Don’t be part of that statistic. Try to reduce your risk of dementia by following 10 recommendations from Nutritional Therapist Natalie Lamb.

Inside the Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, researchers state approximately 20 percent of people without dementia show significant signs of beta-amyloid accumulation in the brain.

It is the build-up of these proteins – beta-amyloid – in the brain that causes Alzheimer’s disease (a form of dementia).

Beta-amyloids clump together in the brain to form plaques that block chemical messages, slowing down levels of cognition.

She adds: “Additional potential benefits of intermittent fasting – being suggested in early research – include enhancing brain function, improving insulin sensitivity, and reducing oxidative stress and damage.

“It’s also suggested that intermittent fasting reduces apoptosis (cell death) and increasing neurogenesis (newly generated brain cells), therefore increasing the brain’s capacity for self-repair and optimal function.”

Natalie recommends trying the 5:2 diet. This is where two days of fasting are followed by five days if eating normally.

Fats

Describing “the brains uptake of ketones, the brain’s main physiological alternative fuel to glucose”, Natalie suggests “published clinical trials have demonstrated that increasing ketone availability to the brain via moderate nutritional ketosis had a modest beneficial effect on mild cognitive decline”.

This can be achieved by indulging in a “high-fat ketogenic diet or consuming supplements of medium-chain triglycerides”.

A polyphenol-rich diet

Polyphenols are plant-based nutrients. Natalie says they “are well known for exhibiting strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties”.

The brain is especially vulnerable to oxidative stress, with dementia linked to high levels of oxidative stress and, so, antioxidants help protect brain cells from oxidative stress.

To enjoy a polyphenol-rich diet, consume nuts, citrus, berries, leafy vegetables, cereals and olive oil.


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