GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – While hopeful research is underway, there is no known cure for Dementia, but there are ways that you can delay its onset.
But before we start, it’s important to note Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia are not the same.
Dementia is essentially a class of diseases that is characterized by a loss of cognition or a cognitive decline, as well as a reduction in the ability to perform daily tasks.
Dementia is typically used as an umbrella term.
Joanna Smyers is a Registered Dietitian with Bon Secours Saint Francis.
She said Alzheimer’s disease is a specific form of dementia.
“It has been characterized and studied quite a bit more than Dementia in general, because of its onset with the beta-amyloid plaques in the brain, the tau plaques, and their contribution to the effects of nurture neurogenesis and neurodegenerative decline,” said Smyers.
According to the Mayo Clinic, Alzheimer’s Disease is defined as symptoms of dementia that gradually get worse over time including confusion, changes in behavior, and other challenges.
Smyers told 7NEWS that what you eat can shape your body’s response to either disease.
“The most appropriate approaches for diet would be the use of the Mediterranean Diet or the Dash Diet,” Smyers said. “And since 2015, they actually combined these two together to form the M.I.N.D. diet, and that stands for the Mediterranean dash Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay.”
Which includes an emphasis on leafy greens, whole grains, chicken, fish, olive oil, fruits, nuts and seeds.
“So what we see is a combination of these two, where we have foods that are high in antioxidants and have been shown to improve mental cognition with a diet that reduces high blood pressure that has been shown to cause you to know, increased risk for Dementia and Alzheimer’s,” said Smyers.
Foods Smyers said to avoid things like red meat, whole-fat cheeses, butter, sweets, and fried foods.
“Those are foods that are going to be lower in nutrient value,” she added. “And in higher things like saturated fat, sugars, and, and lower in antioxidants.”
Smyers added that fish is actually one of the cornerstones of the M.I.N.D. diet.
“There are a lot of studies that have been conducted around the consumption of seafood, and showing that, you know, even eating seafood once a week can really improve mental cognition and done through testing and research,” said Smyers.
She said your diet, combined with daily exercise of at least an hour, is going to put you in the position to better slow the progression of the disease.