The brain is one of the most important organs in the human body. The human brain, like other parts of the body, degenerates with age, and if we do not think about its health in our youth and during our lives and do not take the necessary measures to prevent brain depletion, the brain may deteriorate.
Alzheimer’s disease is one of the most common types of “brain damage”. Since heredity and aging are the main causes of this disease, there is no way to prevent it definitively; But by changing your lifestyle, you can reduce the risk factors and take steps to maintain brain health.
Ten preventive solutions
Healthy eating, mental activities, social activities, physical activities, peace of mind, prevention of any trauma to the head, timely prevention and treatment of diseases, control of pollutants, healthy lifestyle, periodic examinations. Given the importance of proper nutrition in the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease, in this issue of the magazine we will discuss the role of nutrition in it. In future issues, we will examine other solutions.
The main role of nutrition
Unfortunately, our new way of life has become a mix of speed and convenience. Going out for ready-made meals or taking food out of the freezer and cooking it in the microwave is much easier than preparing a healthy, fresh meal. But it should not be forgotten that the reward of eating healthy foods in the long run will be a fit body, a healthy heart and a clear mind. So it is better to prepare a balanced diet and contain a variety of substances useful for health and brain activity from different food groups.
Vitamin E provides the fat membrane of cells and neutralizes harmful molecules and is known as the most active antioxidant and is effective not only in preventing but also in slowing the progression of Alzheimer’s.
They are the body’s source of energy and include two simple and complex categories. Simple carbohydrates are rapidly broken down in the body, raising sugar and energy instantly, and decreasing them just as quickly. Beans, Vegetables, Fruits Since the brain needs enough oxygen and sugar to function around the clock, complex carbohydrates are recommended in the diet. The breads of choice should be rye and whole wheat. Low-sugar biscuits, plain cakes, and natural beverages will replace sweets. Consume less starch and rice.
It is better for these patients to limit the consumption of flour, processed cereals and all kinds of sweets. Complex carbohydrates are slowly broken down in the body and maintain sugar and energy continuously and steadily in the body.
Studies have shown that B vitamins, especially B1, B6, and B12, are effective in preventing Alzheimer’s disease due to their effect on mental activity and brain function. Sunflower seeds, corn, fish, green peas are good sources of this vitamin and are found in abundance in broccoli, carrots, spinach, squash. Turmeric, cauliflower, legumes, hazelnuts, almonds and pistachios contain vitamin B6. Milk is the best source of this vitamin, which is very well absorbed, followed by fish and then meat. Researchers consider vitamins E, A, and C to be the best “antioxidants” in brain health, in addition to their many health benefits.
It should be noted that due to the body’s natural metabolism, highly active and unstable molecules called free radicals are formed, which over time, by binding to the molecules around them, become harmful substances and cause damage to various organs, including the brain. be. The immune system works by producing substances called antioxidants to remove and excrete these substances from the body, but over time and with age, the power of antioxidant production decreases and needs to be compensated through food. Sunflower seeds, olive oil, pumpkin seeds, kale, wheat bran, potatoes, pistachios, hazelnuts and almonds are good sources of vitamin E. Vegetables (especially spinach) Fruits, egg yolks, fish oil contain sufficient amounts of vitamin A. Vitamin C is found in abundance in bell peppers, broccoli, citrus fruits, especially kiwis, blueberries, berries, grapes, raspberries and apples.
The presence of these substances is necessary for the growth and repair of brain tissue and transmitters of nerve messages in the body. Although some protein should be consumed at every meal, it is also harmful to overdo it. Usually a small amount of plant or animal protein in each meal will provide the amount needed by the body. Lean meat, seafood, chicken and eggs, legumes (cereals, lentils, chickpeas), low-fat dairy products (milk and yogurt), almonds. The human body is able to produce the required amount of saturated fat, so it does not need to receive them, and it may be enough to eat a small amount of them. These fats are solid at room temperature.
Unsaturated fatty acids should be consumed in moderation. These fats are liquid at room temperature. Vital unsaturated fats are known as omega-3s and omega-6s, which must be supplied through food sources. Brain cell membranes are made of fat, which plays a role in both supporting and accelerating the transmission of nerve messages. 60% of the brain is fat; Therefore, consuming substances that contain these fats is beneficial for brain health. Omega-3s are involved in the brain’s blood circulation, oxygenation and effective nutrition. When left unmanaged, they can be left astray and lose the right path into the brain. Omega-6 is also effective in brain development and intelligence (especially in infants and children). The best natural sources of omega 3: cold water fish (sardines, salmon, white fish, salmon, salmon) yogurt, walnuts, eggs. The best natural sources of omega-6: Meat and dairy products, it should be noted that omega-6 fat in breast milk is present in sufficient quantities to ensure the health of the baby.
Including magnesium, zinc, iron, calcium and iodine are necessary for maintaining good health, but magnesium is known to be very useful in brain activity. It is effective in improving the circulatory system and adequate blood supply to the brain; Its deficiency causes cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease. In severe deficiency, confusion, delirium, seizures, and even coma occur. Sesame, pumpkin seeds, spinach, mango, sunflower seeds contain enough magnesium.
Other important points in healthy eating
Eating breakfast, especially halva and walnuts, is good for improving daily brain activity. In the long run, overeating, in addition to obesity, leads to atherosclerosis and decreased mental strength. High sugar intake stops the absorption of protein and nutrients and impairs brain function. Although caffeine and dark or milk chocolate are known to be effective in boosting memory, they should not be consumed in excess. Drinking eight glasses of water a day is essential for body interactions.
The brain, like other parts of the body, needs nutrients to function at its best.
Carbohydrates in potatoes are effective in boosting memory.
If the amount of omega-3 fats is not balanced, it can even cause dangerous side effects; Therefore, arbitrary consumption of supplements of these substances should be avoided.
It is better to use natural and refined vegetable oils (olive oil, canola oil, sunflower oil).
Avoid foods fried with vegetable oil, hydrogenated vegetable oil products, and prepared and fried foods.
Vitamin B1 (thiamine): This vitamin is effective in transmitting nerve messages to the brain.
Vitamin B3 (niacin): The presence of this vitamin in the nerve cells of the brain, strengthens mental functions.
Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid): The role of this vitamin in how memory and learning.
Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin): The most important type of B vitamin that is very effective in building nerve cells, transmitting brain messages and mental activity. More than a third of the analysis of brain function and mental disorder in older people is due to its deficiency. This vitamin sometimes enters the body in sufficient quantities, but is not absorbed enough.
Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine): This vitamin is essential in the production of transmitters of brain messages and therefore for memory and mental functions.
Vitamin E: Vitamin E provides the fat membrane of cells and neutralizes harmful molecules and is known as the most active antioxidant and is effective not only in preventing but also in slowing the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.
Vitamin A: It is involved in mental activity and learning and is one of the effective antioxidants in the brain.
Vitamin C: Effective both as an antioxidant and in the production of neurotransmitters. Researchers believe that this nutrient reflects the mental state of all age groups and also affects the IQ of individuals.
The presence of aluminum in the body blocks the passage of magnesium to the brain. In this regard, it is recommended to avoid using aluminum containers for food preparation and storage.
Source: Iranian Alzheimer’s Association