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Foods that help women prevent dementia.

 

    Foods rich in antioxidant vitamins and “plant” estrogens help women boost brain health.

According to many studies, the risk of Alzheimer’s, a disease that causes memory loss, is often higher in women as they age. However, with the scientific use of food, women can actively prevent the disease from the age of 20, 30.

Here are foods that help promote brain health, prevent disease, as advised by Lisa Mosconi, American neuroscientist and nutritionist, author of several works on preventing Alzheimer’s disease.

People often think of eating in moderation for a healthy heart or digestive system, but the principle of “food as medicine” also applies to the brain. This is particularly helpful for women, who account for two-thirds of Alzheimer’s cases. What they eat in their 20s, 30s or so, can help prevent dementia decades later.

Perimenopause — the period when women begin to produce less estrogen — can be an important time to determine if they are at risk for Alzheimer’s disease.

Diet can have a real, everyday impact, says Mosconi. From a biological perspective, food is more than just food. Food is molecules that go into the body and end up inside the brain, serving a very specific brain function. So you can choose to eat foods that contain nutrients that are really helpful for the brain.

For example, nerve cells in the brain communicate with each other using neurotransmitters like serotonin. This substance is a nerve regulator and is made from tryptophan, an amino acid that cannot be produced by the body but must be obtained through food.

To have a well-nourished brain, women may need to pay attention to some of the following food issues:

* Choose foods with antioxidant vitamins.

Studies show that these vitamins are especially important for maintaining brain energy levels in women. The brain is a very active metabolically active organ and it is very sensitive, vulnerable to stress, oxidation… So the best way to protect the brain against aging and Free radical production is the absorption of antioxidants from the diet. These include vitamins like vitamin A found in orange-red fruits and vegetables, including carrots, sweet potatoes, and squash… vitamin C in citrus fruits, such as lemons, grapefruits, and oranges.. vitamin E in almonds, nuts and seeds, extra virgin olive oil and other vegetable oils.

According to Mosconi, if possible, choose to use foods rather than vitamins because supplements are not as good as a complete diet.

* Absorb enough unsaturated fatty acids.

Unsaturated fats are one of the “healthy fats” that include omega-3 fatty acids. The brain needs DHA, an omega-3 fat, for the health of nerve cells, and since the body does not make essential fatty acids, it must be obtained from the diet.

Good sources of omega-3 are from fish like salmon, mackerel, anchovies, sardines and herring…

For those who are vegetarian or don’t like fish, it’s still possible to get one of the omega-3 acids, such as ALA or another alpha-linolenic, from plant-based foods like flaxseeds and extra virgin olive oil. substance and almonds. It’s important to remember that the omega-3s found in plant-based foods need to be converted to DHA in the brain.

However, this conversion process is not perfect as up to 70% of this fat is lost in the process. So you need to eat more to make up for the lost fat. Studies indicate that it is recommended to eat fish about two or three times a week and regularly eat more plant-based foods that contain unsaturated fatty acids. Women and men who got at least 2 grams of omega-3s per day had a 70% lower risk of dementia than those whose diets didn’t contain enough omega-3s.

* “Plant” estrogen supplements.

Phytoestrogens or “plant” estrogens are naturally occurring compounds in plants that are abundantly present in the average person’s daily diet. However, as women age, there is concern that the natural drop in estrogen during menopause will cause them to lose an important layer of protection for the brain. Many people turn to hormone replacement therapy to relieve menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, and insomnia.

But that option isn’t for all women, according to Mosconi, and researchers don’t currently know if taking hormones that way can reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. So, another way is to follow a diet rich in plant-based estrogens. The effect of this supplement is the same as receiving mild estrogen replacement therapy without the side effects.

Soy is one of the largest sources of phytoestrogens. Other options include flaxseed and flaxseed oil; sesame seeds and sesame oil; dried apricots; legumes such as chickpeas, lentils; cereals, especially oats. Fruit, including cantaloupe and berries, are other good sources. Chocolate also contains some phytoestrogens.

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