Studies Show A Healthy Diet Can Prevent Dementia

March 21, 2014 Updated: April 23, 2016

According to a new doctoral thesis published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease as well as the International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, Dementia and Geriatric Cognitive Disorders, eating the right foods in early life may prevent dementia in your later years. The University of Eastern Finland published the study. Participants of the study had an average age of 50 when the study began. There was a 14-year follow-up study to compare those who did and did not eat healthy foods at the beginning of the study. The results indicated a 90% lower risk of dementia for those who consistently consumed healthy foods.

A healthy diet index was used by the researchers, which was based on eating a variety of foods. The healthy foods included unsaturated fats from milk products and spreads, fish, fruits, vegetables and berries. The unhealthy group ate saturated fats from milk products and spreads, salty fish, eggs, sausages, sugary drinks, candy and desserts. While 2,000 participants between 39 and 64 years old were involved in the initial study, only 1,449 completed the follow-up 14 years later, at ages 65 to 79 years.

Decreased cognitive function and increased dementia risk were found in the group that ate a large amount of saturated fats. They also carried the epsilon 4 variant of the apolipoprotein E (ApoE) gene, which is a risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease. “Even those who are genetically susceptible can at least delay the onset of the disease by favoring vegetable oils, oil-based spreads and fatty fish in their diet,” says Margo Eskelinen, MSc, the doctoral thesis author. It was based on the population-based Finnish Cardiovascular Risk Factors, Aging and Incidence of Dementia (CAIDE) study.

“Protective foods,” which help to maintain a healthy brain are recommended by the Alzheimer’s Association. These include dark-skinned vegetables and fruits such as eggplant, broccoli, spinach, beets, red bell pepper, kale, onion, blueberries, cherries, prunes, raisins, plums and red grapes. Cold-water fish such as halibut salmon, tuna, mackerel and trout are recommended as well as nuts such as pecans walnuts and almonds. Using the Vitamix promotion code you can save on your vitamins. Vitamins such as folate and B12, C and E in high quantities are also helpful in maintaining a healthy brain.