Alzheimer’s: America’s other killer pandemic
Dr. Cass Ingram, author of How to Eat Right and Live Longer, recommends key dietary changes we can make to combat dementia
and keep our brains healthy and functioning
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, an estimated 6.2 million Americans aged 65 and older are currently suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease – and that number is projected to climb to 12.7 million by 2050.
Alzheimer’s disease tends to develop slowly and gradually worsen over several years. Eventually, the disease affects most areas of the brain: memory, thinking, judgment, language, problem-solving, personality and movement can all be affected.
“But Alzheimer’s is not just about cognitive impairment: Alzheimer’s kills,” says Dr. Cass Ingram, author of the book How to Eat Right and Live Longer. “This disease kills more Americans annually than breast cancer and prostate cancer combined, and over the last two decades deaths from Alzheimer’s disease have increased by 145%.”
“Like most degenerative diseases, Alzheimer’s is related to deficient diet. The brain is an organ, and like any other organ it requires good nutrition. If the required nutrients are not supplied, dysfunction and, ultimately, degeneration are likely to occur.”
Here are some key lifestyle and nutritional advices that Dr. Ingram recommends for keeping the brain in good health and for combating age-related mental decline.
- Do notconsume refined sugar or allergenic foods
Refined sugar has many negative effects and no positive ones. Its consumption is associated with an increased incidence of Alzheimer’s and a myriad of other health problems. Sugar and allergenic foods deplete the brain’s supply of antioxidants.
- 2.Avoid hydrogenated fats (trans fats)
Fried foods, cookies, snack foods, and foods prepared with margarines and shortenings contain trans fatty acids which give the packaged product a long shelf life, but because they are not found in nature, these “fake fats” eat up the body’s supply of antioxidants, triggering a wide range of degenerative illnesses. Instead of using vegetable oils, use olive oils, flax seed oils, fish oils, and almond oils.
- Eat whole, fresh, organic foods
Lean meats, cold water fish, leafy green and cruciferous vegetables, mushrooms, omega-3 rich seed oils, blueberries, cherries and other antioxidant-rich fruits.
- Use natural nutritional supplements
Dr. Ingram’s book, How to Eat Right and Live Longer (p.151) contains a comprehensive list of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, herbs, and spice oils helpful in addressing disorders of the nervous system:
- Amino Acids: GABA, glutamine, taurine, tryptophan, tyrosine, 5-HTP
- Vitamins: B-Complex, vitamin-C, vitamin-E
- Minerals: Calcium, chromium, magnesium, molybdenum, potassium, zinc chloride, iodine, manganese, sodium
- Herbals: Wild rosemary oil improves cognitive performance, increases alertness, and enhances memory.
- Wild sage oil, turmeric, cumin, and cinnamon may fight brain inflammation. The spices also appear to break up brain plaque, which can lead to memory issues.
“Alzheimer’s and dementia deaths have increased 16% during the COVID-19 pandemic,” says Dr. Ingram.
“During this highly stressful period it’s critical that we ensure family members with cognitive impairment receive proper nourishment, as nutrition is their first line of defense against more serious stages of the disease.”