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From satisfying a craving to keeping you going, food plays various roles in daily life. While eating yourself to a lower risk of dementia might sound too good to be true, a doctor suggests it might just work. A weekly portion of a certain meat could see your risk of the brain condition fall by as much as 60 percent.
Your diet can have very potent effects as long as you opt for the right foods and dementia is not immune to your dietary regime either.
In fact, Dr Deborah Lee from Dr Fox Online Pharmacy has shared that eating “PUFAs” could reduce your risk of the mind-robbing condition by a whopping 60 percent.
Dr Lee said: “Omega-3 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs) which have specific health benefits for brain health.
“There are three main types of omega-3: eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA).
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“Omega-3 fatty acids make up a large part of the neuronal cell membranes in the brain and spinal cord.
“The structure and function of the membrane are crucial for optimum brain function because, without these, the cell cannot correctly transmit cellular messages.”
Once you ingest these fatty acids from your diet, they act as a “powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory”.
Your whole body including your brain can reap the benefits that come with omega-3s, including a lower risk of dementia.
What’s more, the natural food sources of omega-3s are beloved by many, with oily fish like salmon, mackerel, herring, sardines and tuna offering the highest contents.
You don’t need to just rely on Dr Lee’s word as research, published in the journal Archives of neurology, also makes a compelling case for eating oily fish.
Looking at 815 participants between the ages of 65 and 94, the scientists found out that those who ate fatty fish once a week had a 60 percent reduction in dementia.
Another study in the journal Neurology also tied fatty fish to a lower risk of dementia.
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However, the same research warned that these effects don’t extend to fried white fish which means that battered cod or haddock are off the table.
Furthermore, Dr Lee noted that even up-to-date research still highlights significant improvements in cognition.
She said: “In a 2022 study of 57 elderly who scored a minimum of 22 on the mini-mental state examination (a level of 24 or below suggests mild cognitive impairment), were randomised into two groups – one group was given canned pilchards and fish paste every week (2.2 g of omega-3 PUFA per day), while the other group were given canned meatballs and texturised soya.
“After 12 weeks, the fish group had a significantly improved cognitive abilities score compared to the control group.”
However, too much of a good thing could jeopardise the protective effects fish has to offer.
Dr Lee added: “The NHS currently recommends UK adults eat one portion – 140g cooked – of oily fish per week.
“Eating more than this may not be advantageous to health as fish contain high levels of pollutants such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), dioxins and heavy metals.
“So as always, it is best to follow the recommendations and not overdo it.”
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