Dementia, the syndrome that damages brain cells over the period of time and affects cognitive function of the brain making it difficult for people to remember, think and carry on with their day to day activities gets only worse over the time. Dementia becomes more common as one grows old but is not necessarily a normal part of ageing. (Also read: Brain Diet: Foods to keep Alzheimer’s disease at bay)
There are different types of dementia. Neurodegenerative disorders result in a progressive and irreversible loss of neurons and brain functioning. Alzheimer’s disease is one of the most common dementia caused by changes in the brain, including abnormal buildups of proteins, known as amyloid plaques and tau tangles. Other types of dementia are frontotemporal dementia, lewy body dementia, vascular dementia and mixed dementia which is a combination of two or more types of dementia.
While the condition in many kinds of dementia is irreversible, taking care of your brain health, may keep the disease bay. A good diet can nourish and rejuvenate brain cells and prevent cognitive decline.
“Like other medical conditions, you can lower the risk of developing dementia, or at least slow it down through some ways; one of which includes dietary modifications. A diet good for the heart also works great for thebrainas well as for overall health. Ahealthy dietcan help reduce the risk of certain conditions that might lead to this disease. Although, as some causes are out of our control, we cannot completely prevent it,” says Asma Alam, Consulting Nutritionist and Dietitian.
Asma Aslam also suggests foods that can help prevent dementia.
Leafy greens: Greens like spinach, kale, collard greens, etc are some of the veggies that have a good amount of essential B vitamins like folate and B9 that helpin reducing depression, alongside boosting cognition.
Berries: Berries such as blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, cherries, etc consist of a flavonoid called anthocyanin. They are also packed with antioxidants that help in reducing inflammation and maintaining good brain health.
Nuts: They are loaded with nutrients like vitamin B, E, magnesium as well as healthy fats, all of which help in promoting good cognition alongside warding offsigns of dementia.
Spices: Cinnamon, cumin and sage taste amazing as seasonings in different meals. They also contain polyphenols, compounds that possess various health benefits in regards to memory and brain health. Such spices also help in reducing inflammation.
Seeds: Flax seeds, sunflower seeds, as well as pumpkin seeds contain antioxidants and essential nutrients like zinc, omega-3s, zinc, choline and vitamin E that aid in reducing cognitive decline. You can snack on such seeds as it is, simply sprinkle them on salads, or even add them to desserts such as muffins and pudding.
Some other things that can help prevent from dementia are:
* Reducing alcohol intake
* Exercising regularly
* Managing your sleep cycles
* Keeping your mind active through different activities like puzzle games, studying a new language, staying socially engaged, etc.