Modern medicine has seen a lot of advances in the last few years, but dementia is still one of those conditions that scientists are trying to figure out. Worldwide, roughly 46 million people suffer from dementia. At this rate, that number could increase to 76 million by 2030 and triple by 2050, should it remain cureless up until then.
In lack of a cure, the best thing you could do is take a few preventive actions before dementia kicks in, at which point it is virtually incurable. Surprisingly enough, one of the first things you should do is change your diet.
Symptoms of Dementia
Broadly speaking, dementia is a general term used to describe the severe and usually gradual loss of mental faculties. Alzheimer’s is one of the most common forms of dementia. Generally, it manifests itself by causing memory loss and affecting the motor skills, but there are more specific symptoms that you should look out for. From a physical standpoint, if you have Alzheimer’s, you will have difficulties communicating and paying attention, a blurred vision and memory loss, as stated before. From a psychological standpoint, sudden personality changes in patients are quite common, coupled with swift mood swings. Due to the now unpredictable state of their personalities, Alzheimer’s patients might experience feelings of anxiety or long depressive episodes.
From a physical standpoint, if you have Alzheimer’s, you will have difficulties in communicating and paying attention, a blurred vision and memory loss, as stated before. From a psychological standpoint, sudden personality changes in patients are quite common, coupled with swift mood swings. Due to the now unpredictable state of their personalities, Alzheimer’s patients might experience feelings of anxiety or long depressive episodes.
Symptoms are known to start slowly and progress without the patients noticing them. Sadly, no cure has been developed till this point, and detecting it in an early state will make no difference. In this case, prevention is recommended by all experts. Fortunately, the right dietary changes can save you from dementia. Here are 2 diets you should consider if you want to cut your dementia risk in half.
The Mediterranean Diet (Greek, to be more precise), is a good preventive measure against cancer, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. It limits the intake of red meats and fats.
- Wine in moderation
- Olive oil and canola oil, which are healthy fats and good for the body
- It’s recommended to eat fish or poultry at least twice a week
- Herbs and spices
- Whole grains, nuts, veggies and obviously fruits
- Dairy in excess
- Unhealthy fats
- Processed foods
DASH is an acronym for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. Judging by the name itself, its purpose is to lower blood pressure without the use of medication. It does this by reducing your sodium intake and increasing calcium, magnesium, fiber, and potassium. This is a multi-purpose diet that is a good preventive measure against heart diseases, stroke, diabetes, osteoporosis and even cancer.
- Small amounts of red meat
- Fish and poultry in moderation
- Whole grains
- Beans, seeds, and nuts
- Low-fat/nonfat dairy
- Total fat
- Trans fats
Dementia is a terrifying prospect even for the bravest of us. The gradual loss of verbal and motor skills can affect both you and the loved ones that are seeing you in this state, so it’s wise to take a few preventive measures.