It is well known that dementia affects millions of people each year. Recently, vegan Dr. Michael Greger revealed how a plant-based diet may help prevent Alzheimer’s disease which is the most common form of dementia.
Unlike heart attacks that are often triggered by cholesterol-filled arteries, the onset of Alzheimer’s is the result of amyloid. But, what is it? Well, amyloid is a substance that develops in brain tissue. The first stages of this disease can be seen as ‘tangles’ in the brain. These ‘tangles’ are detected in 10% of people in their 20s, and 50 % of people in their 50s. Symptoms start becoming obvious some decades before.
Plant-Based Diet May Be the Key to Preventing Dementia
“Alzheimer’s disease is one of the most physically and emotionally burdensome diseases, both for the sufferers and for the people who care for them” writes Dr. Michael Greger. Beside this he also says that diet may be the underlying factor.
There is mounting evidence that a healthy diet offers protection from the ‘tangles’ that cause Alzheimer’s, he also says. “Many studies have shown Alzheimer’s is more a disease of lifestyle than genetics, and there is an emerging consensus that the same foods that clog our arteries can also clog our brains.”
When comparing people who eat meat more than four times a week with people who haven’t eaten meat for 30 years, the risk of developing dementia is more than 3 times lower among non-meat-eaters. This knowledge isn’t new. Well, back in 2014 the Dietary and Lifestyle Guidelines for the Prevention of Alzheimer’s Disease stated: “Vegetables, legumes including beans, peas and lentils, fruits and whole grains should replace meats and dairy products as primary staples of the diet.”
Whole plant foods, especially berries contain a number of antioxidants, which Dr. Michael Greger says are able to traverse the blood to brain barrier, protecting the neurological system from ‘rusting’ effects and eventual dementia.
Whole-foods, plant-based diets are considered optimal not only for dementia prevention but overall health, Dr. Michael Greger says. “You will be doing the best you can to protect your memories and your brain power well into old age.”