Alzheimer’s disease and other diseases that lead to cerebral dementia are on the rise. If you want to have good mental health even in old age, you need to not only exercise your head in a healthy way, but also think about a diet that is good for it. What foods should you pay attention to after sixty?
The decline in mental abilities is due to the fact that modern times force you to use your brain less and less. The best prevention is not to be mentally inactive: reading, writing crossword puzzles, learning foreign languages, playing a musical instrument, or maintaining social contacts. Regular sleep, the ability to manage stress, active daily exercise, and a healthy diet are also important. This doesn’t mean you should eliminate the following foods from your plate entirely, just don’t overdo it.
People with diabetes, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular disease are at increased risk of dementia. Pay special attention to excess salt, which leads to cardiovascular diseases. It also helps with poor blood flow to the brain, memory and ability to focus, and increases apathy.
Going to a fast food restaurant once in a while and indulging in fried food won’t hurt you, but if you eat like this most of the time, it’s not good for your figure, blood vessels, or brain. Fried and highly processed foods contribute to inflammatory processes in the brain.
However, don’t confuse fried foods with fatty foods. On the other hand, some fatty foods are essential for brain health. “Regular consumption of omega-3 fatty acids in particular has a positive effect on proper growth and brain health. Among its most important sources are vegetable oils, walnuts or flax seeds,” reveals the nutritional therapist Tamara Starnowska of the Healthy Nutrition Forum. “Omega-3s also help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, which tends to be a cause of degenerative brain disease,” she adds.
Frequent drinking reduces the ability to learn new things and can cause memory problems. Excessive alcohol consumption, especially in combination with smoking, is not good for the brain. This is due to constriction of the blood vessels and insufficient oxygenation of the brain. Also, alcohol disrupts the normal function of brain cells. In extreme cases, it can even lead to alcoholic dementia, where your mental abilities are reduced to the point that you can’t care for yourself due to alcoholism.
A decrease in cognitive abilities may also be associated with the taste of hot food. “Although chili consumption is beneficial for body weight and blood pressure, in our study we found negative effects on memory and cognitive ability in the elderly,” said Professor Zumin Shi from the University of South Australia.
Even some seemingly beneficial foods, such as ocean fish, can damage the brain. Because dangerous heavy metals, including mercury, can accumulate in them. This can have the effect of accelerating the disease, but also inducing it in young people, although Alzheimer’s disease is primarily a disease of people over 65 years of age.
Therefore, if no food is spared at the expense of quality, it is fish. Definitely do not leave them, their positive effect on health and the prevention of dementia is very great, especially thanks to the omega-3 acids they contain. But choose meat from proven sources and alternative types of fish. Oily fish and predatory fish like swordfish, tuna or mackerel tend to have more heavy metals and herring and trout are better options.
Do you prefer rye, quinoa, oats or corn to wheat? Variety in food is beneficial, as is reducing gluten, which is a nuisance for many people. Cereals, as well as legumes, soybeans and, unfortunately, many nuts contain a substance that is not good for brain health.
It is a lectin protein. It is difficult for the human body to digest and can accumulate in the body and act as a toxin that slows the growth of nerve cells and leads to encephalitis. It can also cause skin problems, immune disorders, and gastrointestinal illnesses. However, lectins are similar to gluten: they should not harm a healthy person with a varied diet and enough active movement. Also, its amount in food decreases with sprouting, soaking, fermentation, and prolonged cooking.