Alzheimer’s disease, a form of dementia and one of the most emotionally-triggering degenerative brain diseases. According to the Alzheimer's Association, there are currently 5.3 million Americans suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, and this number will continue to escalate rapidly in the coming years.
Alzheimer’s disease destroys brain cells, impairs cognitive and functional abilities, such as memory, thinking, language and behaviour. Alzheimer’s disease is not considered a normal part of aging. Although there is no known cure and there is no known cause, there are known risk factors that have been shown to lead to the development of Alzheimer’s disease. Some of the major contributing risk factors include, age, family history, gender, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and head injury. However, regardless we are all at risk for brain degeneration, especially as we continue to age.
As Alzheimer’s disease progresses it continuously robs the individuals of life-long memories and their ability to care for themselves, but it also impacts families and friends emotionally as well.
So what can you do to reduce your risk for Alzheimer's disease?
If you have a family history of Alzheimer’s disease or simply want to take preventative measures in maintaining and preserving your brain function, one of the first things you can do is eat more brain foods! Yes, the foods we consume regularly can have the most influential variable in preventing diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease. Olive oil, wild salmon, blueberries, walnuts, almonds are all natural brain power foods! These foods contain powerful brain protective antioxidants, which provides beneficial effects on learning and memory deficits found in aging and diseases.
Turmeric, an ancient Ayurvedic healing herb is already considered a “superfood”! It has anti-cancerous powers and lowers your risk for heart disease, but it is also one of the top foods to boost brain power to fight Alzheimer’s disease. Inflammation is indicated in almost every disease, and specifically detected in Alzheimer’s disease. Chronic inflammation of nerve cells is the main contributing reason in the development of Alzheimer’s disease. Turmeric (the main spice in curry) contains an active ingredient known as curcumin. Based on research, curcumin leads to a promising treatment for Alzheimer's disease due to its powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties.
This super spice inhibits the inflammation in Alzheimer’s disease by reducing oxidative damage and decreasing the beta-amyloid peptides in the brain. This is why also a diet high in anti-inflammatory foods is recommended to protect against various diseases, especially Alzheimer’s disease. Studies show that elderly villagers in India have the world’s lowest prevalence rate of Alzheimer’s, which may be due to their diet rich in turmeric.
Prevention and treatment of chronic inflammation is a major focus in inhibiting Alzheimer’s disease and all forms of dementia, along side of eating brain superfoods. Taking preventative steps in nutrition and lifestyles changes can possibly slow the rate of onset and minimize the development and worsening of symptoms of degenerative brain diseases. Cooking with turmeric provides an extra boost for the brain while adding flavour, spice and variety to whole-foods dishes. You can also sip and savour through any one of the Turmeric Teas signature tea blends. Turmeric Teas is a Toronto company that carries a variety of organic loose-leaf tea blends with the powerful healing herb, turmeric root. These tea blends also all contain black pepper which helps enhance turmeric’s bio-availability and absorption by 2000%.
As always, it’s important to know prevention is infinitely better than a cure. We have complete control over our diet, lifestyle and even environmental exposures. Preventative measures help limit our risks of accelerated brain aging and developing other diseases. Turmeric is a great food to nourish and protect brain cells, along with other brain foods as mentioned previously.
So if you or a loved one are suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, or simply want to take preventative measures for yourself, healing and preventive steps may be found through the medicinal properties of turmeric.
Blog post by Alexandra Daugherty, CNP • Holistic Nutritionist.