Combatting dementia by altering the diet involves a lot of hard work and changes to your lifestyle. Best to start early rather than too late so here are some ideas of things to change and how to include them in baking.
It is thought that following a Mediterranean diet can help in the fight against dementia. This involves eating a lot of fruit and vegetables, oily fish, dairy, legumes, cereals and eating less sugar, meat and saturated fat.
Most of the fat in this diet comes from the olive oil. Alcohol is only consumed at meal times. Studies on this style of diet has shown that there is less of an affect on memory loss and thinking which in turn reduces the risk of dementia. Indeed people on these sort of diets are generally healthier than most others. If a shift is made towards including more of these ingredients in baking and a reduction of the sugar and fats in the baking is made then this can be a positive move to combatting dementia. The theory behind this is due to the antioxidants which are present in the fruit and vegetables which protect the brain cells from damage. Along with the proteins which are present the inflammation in the brain caused by dementia and Alzheimer’s disease is reduced and even stopped by the presence of these proteins and antioxidants which come from this type of diet. Also it has been shown that the cholesterol levels are lower when following this type of diet which has a direct affect on the memory and thinking part of the brains functions. The main point here is that a change in diet to a more Mediterranean diet could overall improve your health which in turn would reduce the risk of developing dementia in the long run.
My all time favourite recipe for this would be my oatmeal cookies made with wholemeal flour instead of self raising flour. Also I would use dried apricots or any other dried fruit as the sugar contained in these is better than others forms of sugar. I would reduce the sugar in the recipe by one ounce as the dried fruit contain sugar and would sweeten the cookies. The oats are the biggest bonus here as this cereal I cannot praise enough for the positive attributes which it gives to your diet. Not only providing fibre , but reducing bad cholesterol and blood pressure. A brilliant form of slow releasing energy to boot. There are other ways to include oats in the diet but for a family with young children who don’t all like porridge this recipe has proved most valuable in adding this ingredient into their diet.
On a final note as well as trying to change your diet to help reduce the risk of developing Dementia one could always include baking as an activity for those who are starting with the signs of Dementia as it has been shown that by including any social activity helps to keep the brain active. Even better make these cookies and invite or visit a person who is a Dementia sufferer and socialise with them that way instead. A win-win situation. I am talking from experience here as my own granddad was a Dementia sufferer and I regularly baked in his house where he would wander in the kitchen and take over to show me how to bake. The best bit was watching his face light up when he tried the baked products which he had helped to make. Then chatting to him whilst we shared a baked goodie and a hot cup of tea reminiscing about the past. I miss that time now.