Brain health is often forgotten until disaster strikes. More than 30 million Americans suffer from some type of dementia. Alzheimer’s disease, in particular, affects more than five million Americans.
We now know that nutritional deficiencies are associated with and sometimes can predict the severity of Alzheimer’s disease and cognitive decline in the elderly. Unfortunately, the current standard diet is high in processed grains, refined sugars, and industrial seed oils, which don’t provide many nutrient-dense foods.
Functional Medicine identifies the underlying insults—inflammation, oxidative stress, nutrient deficiencies, atrophy, toxins, pathogens, or some combination—and treats them on an individualized basis.
Some experts suggest following the Paleo diet to boost brain health and function. A Paleo diet is rich in meats and organ meats, bone broth, fermented foods, vegetables, and other nutrient-dense foods and offers sufficient protein required for brain health.
For optimal health, it’s crucial to consume a diet rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants like vitamin C, vitamin E, and beta-carotene are beneficial for preventing and supporting AD. Following the Paleo diet is just one option for increasing antioxidant intake.
Consuming a diet with a large variety of fruits and vegetables is key. Some nutrients are difficult to consume enough to gain medicinal benefits. If you feel supplementation is necessary to receive optimal antioxidant benefits, schedule a consultation with our office to test for deficiencies.
Keep the following in mind when considering supplementation:
– Get nutrients from food whenever possible. Most nutrients require enzymes, synergistic co-factors, and organic mineral-activators to be properly absorbed, all of which are naturally found in food, but not added to supplements.
– Take nutrients in their naturally occurring form whenever possible. Synthetic, isolated nutrients don’t always have the same effect on the body.
– Be selective with your supplementation. Many multivitamin manufacturers use the cheapest possible ingredients, which can cause nutrient imbalances.
Instead of taking a multivitamin, determine which vitamin or mineral you may be deficient in. Common recommendations include Vitamin A, Vitamin D, Vitamin K2, Magnesium, or Vitamin C.