Dementia is a set of health conditions that lead to the slow decline of the brain’s normal functions. A person with dementia may experience unexplained memory loss, limitations in social skills and a wane in thinking capabilities. Alzheimer’s, multiple strokes and
excessive alcohol intake have been touted as the causes of dementia. Others are deficiencies in Vitamin B-12 and folate.
Still Alice, a critically acclaimed book and now a Hollywood feature film, gives a perfect glimpse into what it feels like to have dementia. On her 50th birthday, Alice a linguistics professor at Columbia University is diagnosed with the early onset of familial Alzheimer’s disease. This is after she gets lost during a jog on campus. As the disease advances she loses her job due to forgetfulness. The story then continues to highlight her continued decline with memory/time lapses and mental capabilities.
What’s evident from this narrative is that this is a harrowing experience for loved ones. More importantly, caring for a loved one with dementia is not a walk in the park. It’s a daunting task that requires tons of patience, understanding, proper information and knowledge.
One of the stress-free, proven ways to manage dementia is through high quality nutrition. The brain needs significant nourishment to stay healthy and serve without a hitch for longer. Notably, in all types of dementia, adequate nutrition may improve physical well-being, help maximize the patient’s functioning and improve the quality of life.
To understand the type of foods to incorporate in the diet of a loved one with dementia here are some recommendations.
- Omega 3s
Without being scientific about it, Omega 3 oils are crucial to the proper growth and function of the human body. The pills as substitutes are great BUT nothing beats nutrition from direct foods.
- Fish sources
Fish is one of the healthiest foods you can consume on this planet today. It comes FULLY LOADED with vitamins, proteins and Omega 3. Read on to know the particular fish types that are rich in this special nutrient.
- Mackerel fish:
They’re not only rich in Omega 3 but vitamins B12 and B6 as well. They’re quite small and very tasty too.
Easily available and a lot cheaper. Being high in sodium, incorporate them with lower sodium foods to balance out. They’re perfect as toppings for sandwiches and vegetable dishes
It’s also rich in Vitamin D, protein and phosphorous. 2 – 3 portions a week are ideal to ward off high blood pressure, heart attack and embolism.
- Edible Seed sources
Edible seeds are tiny but mighty STRONG. They’re very high in minerals and vitamins. Best part about them? They go with any meal, even beverages like tea.
- Flax seeds
They’re considered to be a super food. Best for fighting cancer, weight loss and controlling sugar cravings.
- Chia seeds:
They’re rich in vitamins, minerals and dietary fibers. They’ve got health benefits for the brain and help to fight type 2 diabetes.
These are raspberries, blueberries, wolf berries, bilberries, Acai berries, cranberries, grapes and strawberries. They’re really tiny, palpable and edible fruits that come in exciting assorted colors. Apart from that they’ve also got high nutritional value in antioxidants, vitamin C and high fiber. Additionally, they’re effective at lowering blood pressure, cholesterol and oxidative stress.
- Vegetables and leafy greens
When your mama told you to eat your vegetables and greens, she must have been onto something. This is because they’re a fantastic source of fiber, vitamins –A, C, K, folate and minerals –iron and calcium.
These specific ones called cruciferous vegetables are recognized super foods. They’ve got all the super powers to keep your body highly revitalized and healthy.
So, which ones are they? Brussel sprouts, cabbages, cauliflower, broccoli, collard greens, horse radish, kale, radish, wasabi and turnips. This list is by no means exhaustive. There’s a complete range available. Continue researching to identify what’s available near you.
Something to remember: For the easy absorption of nutrients into the body, you need good quality oil. The BEST being either olive oil or cranola oil.
Avoid processed foods at all costs. That and red meat, alcohol, sugar and fatty acids.
Whilst most dementia cases can’t be reversed, an exceptional diet high in nutritional value will give your loved one a quality existence.
In review: To improve your loved ones’ food nutritional value, focus on 3 super foods –Fish, berries and vegetables. Start with these and expand slowly as you gain more knowledge and understanding.
If you need help expanding the list, developing meal plans and/or recipes, talk to one of our nutritionists at KwikFix.