Forgetfulness It’s Not Just All in Your Head
Forgetful acts can be scary mainly because they increase the possibility of Alzheimer’s disease. Many reasons can play a role in memory issues such as sleep apnea, silent stroke, thyroid issues, medications, stress, depression and anxiety. If you are suffering with forgetfulness or memory issues, an important consideration is the food you are feeding your brain. To perform at the highest levels and keep a lifetime of optimal brain health, you MUST be vigilant about what you feed your body.
Numerous studies consistently tell us the Standard American Diet (SAD) high in bad fats (trans and saturated), refined sugar, and higher in carbohydrates adversely affects memory and is associated with lower cognitive function; while diets high in fruits, vegetables, and fish are associated with better cognitive function and lower rates of dementia. And the Standard American Diet is not only responsible for earlier onset of Alzheimer’s or dementia but higher rates of depression, anxiety, insomnia, and other mood disorders.
The good news is there are ways to build a better brain and hold on to your cognitive function. There are key nutrient groups to preserve brain function and these include healthy fats, B-complex vitamins, and antioxidants. As a matter of fact, a majority of our brain is fat (omea-3 type fat) and there is a growing body of evidence that suggests a protective effect of omega-3 fatty acids against dementia. Studies have also shown eating a diet high in antioxidants along with omega fatty acids can improve age-related cognitive decline. It is just as important to maintain an optimal vitamin D level. People who have higher vitamin D levels consistently perform better on mini mental exam questionnaires compared to those with lower vitamin D levels. Exercise has also shown to improve memory and cognitive function by 50 percent compared to those who don’t exercise.
The best way to protect your brain and memory is to eliminate bad trans fats, artificial sweeteners, and refined sugars. Eat plenty of healthy fat especially omega-3 fatty-acids, include a good B-complex vitamin – most importantly B12 and folic acid. Eat a large variety of colorful plant-based antioxidant foods found in berries and vegetables, and include nuts (especially walnuts) seeds, legumes, green tea, and spices such as turmeric.
If you are having memory difficulties, consider asking your health care provider to do further screening, including testing you for food allergies and/or sensitivities. If you have a family history of early onset dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, then consider having genetic testing. To schedule an appointment please call Compassionate Healthcare Associates at 661-295-7777.
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