Alzheimer’s runs in my family, and the memory of dealing with my grandmother struggle with this terrible disease still cuts me deeply. Not only does it take your life, but it steals memories and moments that lay buried inside; since she has passed, I think daily about how to prevent myself and any other family members from falling ill Alzheimer’s.
My grandmothers death was one of the many catalysts that propelled me to change my life. Scientist have linked aluminum, cell phones and a host of other things to the onset of Alzheimer’s. But one thing that they can all agree on is that prevention comes from the food we eat and the lifestyle choices we make even before even one symptom surfaces.
What we’ve learned about the food and drink link so far
A 10-year research study followed approximately 2,000 Japanese Americans in Hiroshima, Japan; Oahu, Hawaii; and Seattle, Washington. Participants underwent a physical examination beginning in 1992, and their mental function was tested every two years following.
Those who drank juice three or more times per week experienced a 76% reduced risk for Alzheimer’s. Those who drank juice once or twice a week experienced a 16% reduced risk. The results suggested that polyphenols, a type of anti-oxidant, might have a protective effect on the brain, preventing or reducing dementia and Alzheimer’s.
The lead author of the report did fact attribute the preventative effect to polyphenols, rather than the general antioxidants in fruit juices. Polyphenols are found in the outer sections of fruits and vegetables, only in the peel or skin. When you process the whole fruit, they go into the juice.
While here is some disagreement about the effectiveness of the antioxidants found in vitamin C, vitamin E, selenium, green tea and gingko biloba, drinking fruit and vegetable juice three or more times a week has been shown to not only reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s, but also to slow the early stages of the disease.
More focus on what we “should be doing”
It is very easy to get lost in all the information telling us what NOT to eat or NOT to do in order to prevent a disease such as Alzheimer’s, but I subscribe to the school of thought that prefers to focus on what I SHOULD BE eating and doing as a method of prevention.
If something as simple as drinking fresh juice three times weekly will help prevent a disease that has affected my family so profoundly, then that’t not only a small price to pay, but it’s actually a pretty sweet treat. We’re not guaranteed anything in this life, but some peace of mind never hurt. I get that from knowing that I’m taking an active role in my future health and wellness, and you should too!