You may know me from previous posts I have written for Vegan Fierce.
My name is Emma and I’m a young vegan activist hailing from South Australia, with a passion for all animals. I live to encourage others to make better choices for their own health and the well being of all sentient beings.
Awhile back I was requested to write an article on Alzheimers and Dementia.
This is a really difficult subject for me to cover, as my nana died of dementia two years ago. I watched someone I loved and shared my childhood with degrade to a point where she’d look at me knowing she was supposed to know me, but couldn’t remember who I was.
I watched her become a living skeleton, skin hanging off her bones, refusing to eat anything but baby food given to her by my mum.
Nutritionally we all know some foods are better for our health, our brains and boosting memory, compared to others which can do the opposite.
Dementia and Alzheimers are different strains of a disease that effectively attacks that part of the brain that allows us to remember and understand how to sustain an average lifestyle. It can induce episodes of panic, from not knowing how you got to a place to believing there are people after you.
In my opinion it is one of the most distressing diseases a close friend or family member can get, as you watch the people closest to you lose themselves over long periods of time, in my nan’s case five to six years. And there’s absolutely nothing we can do about it. Except donate to research causes and hope a cure will one day be found and implemented.
Or at least so we thought.
Research suggests that a lack of the right consumption of healthy fats, fruits, vegetables, lean proteins with adequate vitamins and minerals encourages memory loss. Consuming too little of these foods and too much of sugars and processed foods encourages the production of body toxins.
These toxins can lead to inflammation and the build up of plaques in the brain resulting in impaired cognitive function.
Foods that are linked to inducing memory loss include white breads, pasta or processed meats and cheeses.
Smoked meats in particular contain nitrosamines which cause our livers to produce fats that are toxic to the brain.
Cheeses, in specific processed cheeses build up various proteins in the body that have been linked to Alzheimers.
Foods that assist memory include Leafy green vegetables, berries and dark skinned fruits, coffee and chocolate, extra virgin olive oil and cold pressed virgin coconut oil.*
Now I’m not suggesting those who have family members or friends suffering with alzheimers ditch any doctor advice and follow these suggestions to the t.
We have no cure, these foods are just proven to assist or be detrimental to cognitive function.
Logically, the more natural nutrients we receive the better our health is and evidently the function of our brain improves.
With a vegan diet already proven to reduce risks of cancer cells, it makes sense to encourage a vegan diet for those susceptible to this disease as well as the general public.
If I knew about this when my nan was suffering, encouraging her to eat these foods when she was aware enough in her mind to do so may have given us more time with the person we knew and loved, not the disease that killed her.
*information obtained from alzheimers.net, January 2nd 2014
Vegan Fierce does not in anyway claim to know better than qualified professionals on the matter.