Diagnosing a family member with dementia can be a troubling time for everyone involved. For those diagnosed, it can be a devastating life change to endure. And if you are the child of someone diagnosed, you need to process not only the success of the diagnosis itself, but also potential concerns about what it could mean for your health later on.
It is important to note that dementia is actually not as hereditary as some people may assume. Although it is possible to pass it on to children or grandchildren, most cases of dementia are not inherited.
When it comes to vascular dementia, it is very unlikely that parents will be able to pass it on to their children, however it is possible. They are more likely to carry a specific disease-related gene or carry some common risk factors for dementia, such as diabetes or hypertension.
For patients with frontotemporal dementia, it is possible to pass it on to offspring. Second The Alzheimer’s Societyabout 40% of those who develop this type of dementia will also have a family member who develops dementia.
Like this While it is entirely possible that you will never have dementia even if one of your parents does, it is still important to take care of your brain and eat foods that can help improve your overall brain health.
Here is what our dieticians say are some of the best foods to eat if dementia is present in your family. And for tips on healthier eating, check out Best Foods for Your Brain After 50.
If dementia exists in your family or you fear it may, it’s important to get enough healthy fats like omega-3s in your diet consistently.
“About 60 percent of the brain is made up of fat, and half of that amount is made up of omega-3 type fats,” says Trista Best, MPH, RD, LD at Balance One Supplements. “Foods rich in omega-3s have been found to help prevent cognitive diseases such as Alzheimer’s and slow mental decline. The brain also requires omega-3 fat to produce nerve cells, which are vital for memory and capacity. learning “.
If you are wondering which foods you should avoid or limit, you may want to look at your consumption of red meat, processed meat, and other processed foods.
“I recommend limiting your intake of red meat and processed foods, as they are inflammatory and can increase the likelihood of plaque in the brain that can contribute to dementia,” says Dana Ellis Hunnes PhD, MPH, RD, author of Recipe For Survival.
Indeed, animal research from Ohio State University he proved it Regular consumption of processed foods can lead to faster memory loss in aging populations. The same results state that replacing these foods with high-omega-3 options (as mentioned above) can significantly help improve brain health.
In addition to eating lots of healthy fats and avoiding highly processed foods, getting enough B vitamins can help improve brain health.
“Ensuring adequate intake of B vitamins (thiamine, B12, etc.) is critical because they can be related to neurological changes (including the brain),” says Hunnes.
For example, a recent study found this Vitamin B12 deficiency could help reduce cognitive function. You can find B12 in most animal products such as meat, dairy and eggs. If you don’t eat meat products, you can always supplement with a B12 pill.
Yes, berries are good for the brain and can be a good snack for those who are concerned that dementia is present in their family.
“Berries are believed to be among the healthiest foods for the brain due to their antioxidants and high levels of anthocyanins (plant nutrients), “says Hunnes.
One study found that young and old who consumed blueberries had better memory and attention, as well as better blood flow to the brain.
They also found that seniors who regularly ate strawberries and blueberries had better memories than those who did not eat the berries.