There are two reasons that you may take an interest in natural treatments for Alzheimer’s disease.
Either you know someone who is suffering from this devastating disease or you’re concerned that you may suffer from some form of dementia in the future.
Whether it runs in your family or you’ve seen the impact of the disease on someone in your social circle, you know how difficult it is for dementia patients as well as their caregivers and loved ones to live with memory loss and limited cognitive functioning.
Alzheimer’s patients work closely with medical professionals to develop a care plan that typically includes prescription medication, but researchers are also testing theories surrounding some natural treatments.
Not all of these treatment options have substantial scientific proof, but some medical professionals are starting to implement them into treatment plans because there are more benefits to using them than not using them.
Top Alzheimer’s Foods to Eat & Avoid
Foods to Eat
Organic, unprocessed foods
Make sure your diet includes plenty of “real foods.” These are foods that don’t have an ingredient listing. Vegetables, clean meats, and fruit in moderation are all important foods to consume.
Antioxidants such as vitamins A, C, E
There may be some connection between free radicals and Alzheimer’s. Antioxidant foods help combat the damage caused by free radicals. Colorful fruits and vegetables are high in antioxidants and should be consumed at every meal.
A great source for omega-3 fats, DHA specifically, which are critical for brain health.
Foods high in zinc
Many people with Alzheimer’s are deficient in zinc. Foods high in zinc include pumpkin seeds, grass-fed beef, and dark chocolate.
Coconut oil uses include providing the brain with ketones, which serves as brain fuel instead of glucose. Some people have seen a significant improvement to memory after adding coconut to their diet.
Foods to Avoid
Any food containing toxins or additives
These foods can possibly be neurotoxic. Be sure to especially avoid the “dirty dozen“: nonorganic fruits and vegetables that are coated with neurotoxic agricultural chemicals. Studies show people with higher levels of organochlorine pesticides in their blood, including DDE, a breakdown compound of DDT, face a higher risk of Alzheimer’s disease. It’s also best to avoid any processed foods.
Alcohol is a toxin and can cause brain cells to die faster than normal. In fact, there is such a thing as “alcohol-related dementia.” Research shows that the frontal lobes of people diagnosed with alcoholism appear particularly susceptible to damage, with evidence of markedly decreased neuron density, volume shrinkage, and altered glucose metabolism and perfusion.
Tap water may contain environmental toxins, including aluminum salts (see below), so be sure test your water if you drink tap water (or get a recent water testing report if you drink municipal water) and filter out contaminants. Environmental Working Group issued a great drinking water filter guide to help you find the best one for your circumstance.
Sugar and refined grains
Alzheimer’s may be caused by insulin resistance, similar to diabetes. Therefore, keeping your insulin low by eliminating sugar and refined grains will be an important component in maintaining brain health.
Foods packaged in aluminum containers
Aluminum is neurotoxic at high levels, so it’s best to avoid it. In fact, research shows aluminum enters neurons similarly to how iron does, leading to aluminum accumulation and neurofibrillary damage linked to Alzheimer’s progression. You should particularly avoid heating food in aluminum; the heat is known to release more toxic compounds.
Top 5 Alzheimer’s Natural Treatment Supplements
Along with diet, try these Alzheimer’s remedies as part of your natural treatment protocol.
Phosphatidylserine (300 mg daily)
Phosphatidylserine improves brain cell communication and memory, and it’s shown to be beneficial for early-stage Alzheimer’s disease.
Ginkgo Biloba (120 mg daily)
Ginkgo biloba helps improve brain circulation and memory and can be an effective Alzheimer’s natural treatment.
CoQ10 (200 mg daily)
Levels of CoQ10 decrease as we age and some research has shown that supplementation may slow down the progress of Alzheimer’s disease.
Vitamin D3 (5,000 IU daily)
Vitamin D deficiency could be a risk factor for Alzheimer’s. Research shows that ample levels of vitamin D can help prevent tangles and plaques from forming on the brain.
Fish Oil with DHA (1,000 mg daily)
The fish oil benefits include DHA, a fatty acid critical for brain function. High-quality fish oil also reduces inflammation.
The Mediterranean Diet:
Researchers have found that people following this diet are less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease.
This makes a clear connection between what you eat and the long-term health of your brain. The diet is rich in fresh fruits, vegetables, fish, and healthy fats like coconut oil and extra-virgin olive oil.
Perhaps the inclusion of those healthy oils is at least partially responsible for the reduced risk?
It sounds too simplistic to say that you can exercise your way out of dementia, but research has linked routine physical activity with a reduced risk of developing Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.
You don’t have to run a marathon or get up at the crack of dawn to put this natural remedy into action.
Simply increasing your daily activity level and performing some type of exercise each day may help.
Remember, there’s no proof that these natural treatments for Alzheimer’s disease will cure cognitive impairment or prevent the development of dementia.
Many of them do come with other health benefits, so you may find that you gain more from trying them than ignoring them.