Eating Rhubarb Could Help Alzheimer’s Disease
Over recent years there has been more of a focus to look for natural foods, particularly phytochemicals to help with Alzheimers Disease, and it seems that eating Rhubarb could help with Alzheimer’s Disease.
In one particular study https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17113925 Rhaponticin which is a Rhubarb Rhizome found in the roots of the Rhubarb, was tested to see the effect on senile plaques called Amyloid Beta Peptides which are thought to accumulate in the brains of people with Alzahaimers disease, it is thought that Rhaponticin and its main metabolite rhapontigenin could be developed as agents to manage Alzheimer’s Disease.
Alzheimer’s Disease and The Family
Alzheimer’s disease is just one type of dementia and if you have ever had a family member who has suffered with Alzheimer’s Disease or dementia, then you will know just how devastating it can be.
Unfortunately, both my grandparents suffered from Alzheimer’s. My grandad’s seemed to have come on quite slowly with him simply forgetting things as you would expect with old age.
It then became a lot more apparent that it was not just old age when I heard him saying to my nana one day. “You can go now, you have done your chores for the day”. This, of course, would have been funny if he had been joking, but unfortunately, he had forgotten that he was married to my nana.
Having a family member with Alzheimer’s can be upsetting for the whole family, and whilst at first I used to correct my grandad when he got things wrong, all this led was to more confusion, so in the end, I just went with it and tried to comfort him when I could. Studies are showing that the interaction you have with your loved ones is so important even though they might not always understand.
Rhubarb The ‘Odd’ Vegetable
Rhubarb could be seen as quite an odd vegetable, often thought of as a fruit. Its stalks are well known to be edible, but its leaves are highly toxic.
Historically, It was not thought of as a food stuff but more known for its medicinal properties. It contains a healthy dose of fibre, as some greengrocers may refer to it as ‘squirt’.
It also has a good amount of vitamin K which is good for healthy bone growth and can limit neural damage to the brain. It also contains the powerful antioxidants Vitamin C to fight infection and Vitamin A for healthy skin, mucous membranes and good vision.
It has as much calcium in 1 cup of rhubarb as cows milk.
Looking At Natural Treatments For Alzheimer’s Disease
Despite Alzheimer’s reaching epidemic levels, there are still only a limited number of drugs that have been developed to alleviate symptoms. There is some evidence to show that a number of dietary or Phyto bioactive compounds have considerable anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.
Some of these include the following:
Curcumin (from turmeric)
Rosmarinic acid (a chemical compound found in a number of plants)
Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA’s)
However, there is still very little scientific research into the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease using natural treatments and its safety.
Some caregivers have given coconut oil to people with Alzheimer’s due to its caprylic acid, a study involving caprylic acid showed that it might help people with Alzheimer’s. However, because there has been no clinical trial into coconut oils effectiveness in treating Alzheimer’s, we don’t have sufficient research to say whether it can help or not.
Omega 3’s In The Treatment And Prevention Of Alzheimer’s
Studies on Omega 3’s and the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease gave mixed results as detailed by the Alzheimer’s Association. However, experts agreed that more research was needed with Omega 3’S, as there was not yet sufficient evidence to recommend it for treatment or prevention of Alzheimer’s disease. http://www.alz.org/alzheimers_disease_alternative_treatments.asp
Other Things That Could Help With The Prevention Of Alzheimer’s Disease
Diet That Helps Prevention of Alzheimer’s Disease
A UCLA study published in the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry found that the Mediterranean Diet was the main lifestyle factor, that kept the brain from developing toxic plaques forming, which are associated with the development of Alzheimer’s Disease. However, more recently it is thought that a combination of the Mediterranean Diet and The MIND diet are the best diet to follow for Alzheimer’s prevention.
This combination diet specifically includes foods and nutrients that are shown to be good for your brain. Foods such as leafy green vegetables, berries, whole grains, nuts, olive oil, beans and poultry and fish are recommended, and even 1 glass of wine a day. Foods to limit include less than 4 servings of red meat a week, less than a tablespoon of butter per day, only one serving of cheese per week, less than 1 serving of fried food and fast food per week and less than 5 servings of pastries and sweets.
One study showed that people who adopted this diet lowered their risk of Alzheimer’s by 54%.
See the below link for more details on this diet
Exercise To Help Alzheimer’s Disease
People who exercise have a lower amount of the toxic plaques associated with the development of Alzheimer’s. It is not certain what type of exercise specifically can help, but being active and keeping a moderate weight is thought to be beneficial to prevent Alzheimer’s Disease.
Keeping your Brain Active
Doing puzzles and keeping your brain active is thought to be helpful in preventing Alzheimer’s disease.
There are more and more brain training apps now that you can download to keep your mind active.
One of my favourites is Luminosity, you can find details of the app here:
A report published in 2014 by the World Health Organisation showed that there was a 45% higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s compared to non-smokers.
Excessive Alcohol Consumption
The Alzheimer’s Society states that excessive alcohol consumption as a risk factor for dementia with no more than 14 units spread over a three day period, with binge drinking being particularly harmful. However, the MIND-Mediterranean diet promotes just 1 glass of wine a day which is thought to be beneficial.
If you or a family member would like to take steps to avoid Alzheimer’s, and for better overall health, then changing your diet to the MIND/Mediterranean diet could help reduce your risk. Keeping your brain and your mind active as well as taking these dietary steps are undoubtedly the best way to go forward…oh and eat Rhubarb of course :).
For some Brain boosting recipes see the link below: