Lack of proper nutrition affects brain, too

Lack of proper nutrition affects brain, too
We all know that if we do not eat the right types of food, we can end up with many diseases, most of which can be life threatening, if not controlled in time. Diabetes, heart disease, obesity, cancer and hypertension are just some of the diseases that a lack of good nutrition can cause. If you thought that was it, you are mistaken. Lack of nutrition can also affect the brain.

According to the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, there is proof that dietary fats and trace metals may damage delicate brain structures and there are dietary patterns that may protect the brain. According to a review published in Neurobiology of Aging, reducing consumption of saturated and trans fats reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Researchers examined the diets and brain health of 19,792 study participants and found that higher saturated fat consumption increased the risk for Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, and cognitive decline.

But worry not. It is possible to minimise your risk of getting Alzheimer’s by altering your dietary pattern. One way is by minimising your intake of saturated fats and trans fats. Saturated fat is found primarily in dairy products, meats, and certain oils (coconut and palm oils). Trans fats are found in many snack pastries and fried foods and are normally listed on labels as “partially hydrogenated oils”.

Another easy way is to switch to a plant-based diet. Vegetables, legumes (beans, peas, and lentils), fruits and whole grains should replace meats and dairy products as primary staples of your the diet.

Doctors say we should consume 15 milligrammes of vitamin E from foods each day. Vitamin E should come from foods, rather than supplements. Healthy food sources of vitamin E include seeds, nuts, green leafy vegetables and whole grains.

Don’t neglect your vitamin B12 levels. You can take a B12 supplement as a reliable source of B12, such as fortified foods or a supplement, providing at least the recommended daily allowance (2.4 microgrammes per day for adults) should be part of your daily diet. Note: have your blood levels of vitamin B12 checked regularly as many factors, including age, impair absorption.

Only have those multivitamins which don’t have iron and copper and consume iron supplements only when directed by your physician.

Choose aluminium-free products and avoid the use of cookware, antacids, baking powder, or other products that contain aluminium.

Exercise for 120 minutes each week. Include aerobics in your routine — say, 40 minutes of brisk walking — three times a week.

Other preventive measures, such as getting a minimum of seven hours of sleep each night and participating in 30-40 minutes of mental activity most days of the week, such as completing crossword puzzles, reading the newspaper, or learning a new language, can only help boost brain health. zz

(The writer is a vegan

chef and author of The Vegan Kitchen: Bollywood Style!)

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