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Brain health and cognitive nutrition
Scientists once believed that controlling the risk factors for progression of age-related diseases was impossible. Recently, research has uncovered evidence suggesting that age-related diseases of the brain, such as Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, may be prevented by controlling risk factors for other chronic disease.
Nutrition intervention is a major component of the fight against any disease. Providing nutritional information and solutions focused specifically on supporting brain health and avoiding chronic disease may help prevent cognitive decline and age-associated diseases.
Research now shows that chronic conditions like obesity, high blood sugar, high insulin levels, diabetes, high blood pressure, inflammation, hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, heart disease and cancer are linked to brain health and dementia.
The Brain Connection
Alzheimer’s is characterized by a build-up of proteins called beta-amyloid plaques and tangles, which can destroy brain cells and prohibit effective communication among neurons. Research now suggests that the Alzheimer’s brain has a diabetes like condition called type 3 diabetes, which results from high insulin levels in the brain.
High homocysteine levels and elevated C-reactive protein are indicators of an inflammatory response and vascular issues in the heart, which can also lead to stroke and impaired brain function. Obesity alone can increase the likelihood of impaired cognitive function or dementia.
Diet & nutrition
A healthy diet is one of the modifiable risk factors in the fight against dementia, whose initial manifestation usually starts with deterioration of cognitive functions.
Diets that support prevention are characterized by single-ingredient wholefoods like fruits, vegetables, quality meats, whole grains, olive oil, fish, nuts, legumes, high in fibre and low GI-index.
Nutrient-dense foods, including vitamins, monounsaturated & polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), antioxidants and flavonoids play an important role in the enhancement of cognitive function and have a significant positive effect on pathological neurodegenerative processes such as oxidative stress, neuroinflammation, insulin resistance, or reduced cerebral blood flow.
Foods like avocados, berries, EV olive oil, are all connected with the delay of cognitive decline. EV olive oil has a neuroprotective effect and could positively prevent the development of dementia.
Low consumption of processed foods, while avoiding ultra-processed, hyperpalatable foods and vegetable oils are a good idea.