Nutrition and neurodegenerative diseases > Health and Wellness.

In industrialized countries there has been a progressive ageing of the population. Life expectancy is increasing, and this carries the greater appearance and maintenance for more years of various chronic diseases. Refers to a percentage close to 20% of the population suffer any neurodegenerative disease. The most common are: multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and Alzheimer's disease.
These diseases are characterized by progressive and irreversible damage to the nervous tissue that is diminishing the capabilities of the person who suffers it. In this case, it seems that all those nutrients, habits or effects that may relate to the proper maintenance of nerve structures (nerve cells or neurons, neural connections, cell walls, etc.) could be beneficial when it comes to a possible prevention in the emergence of these ailments or a slowing in the progression of symptoms, once already-diagnosed disease.
In any case, there are several lines of research which yield conclusive results: it is not easy to label nutrients separately with a beneficial or harmful effect, but that is the set of all diet along with some global healthy lifestyle habits, a proper nutritional state and a genetic basis that we be propitious which contributes to a good neurological health.

Food featured in neural diseases

If we do a review of the foods that contain beneficial substances at the neuronal level, we see that they are many and they belong to almost all the food groups: grains, leguminas, vegetables, fruits, oils from seeds, dried fruits, meat, fish, dairy, egg, liver, vegetables of leaf, yeast of beer, blue fish, etc.
For this reason, it can be concluded that a list of food recommended and not recommended in these situations, but rather, a healthy lifestyle that includes a reasonable consumption of these products there is.

Dietary components to protect the neurons

The dietary components that currently have shown in several studies to have a beneficial effect in neurodegenerative diseases are:
  • Glucose. Glucose is the simplest carbohydrate that any food can be decomposed. And it is also the essential food for the brain, we could say, is a little gourmet in terms of diet refers and is not used to use any nutrient, since your favorite is quickly produced a greater energy efficiency, i.e., glucose. Therefore, it is suitable that carbohydrates in our diet are not missed.
    Sources of glucose: best those who go by the blood and can be used in a slow, progressive. In the form of cereals, vegetables, potatoes, leguminas, etc. Be careful, because the excess is not recommended, so it is good idea to increase, if it is low, or keep, if it is high, the use of sweet and sugary products.
  • Phospholipids, such as phosphatidylcholine and phosphatidylserine. They are molecules that contain fats, any particle of phosphorus, inositol and choline, and part of the cell walls, including neurons.
    Sources of phospholipids: as one of its main components are the lipids are found mainly in fatty foods: liver, brains, heart, egg yolk.
  • Antioxidants. Within this group, mainly working on vitamins E, C and provitamin A or beta-carotene. It is clear that one of the processes which impair neuronal tissue is the inflammation that occurs in these diseases. On the improvement of the inflammation is where it will most affect the antioxidant components of the diet, controlling and avoiding these processes.
    Sources of antioxidants: the vitamin E is mainly found in oil seeds, nuts and egg yolk. Vitamin C and A are present in fruits, vegetables and colored vegetables. How much more color, better. Thus, carrot, tomato, Orange, kiwi, strawberries, spinach... are good examples of vitamin content. Beware their destruction by heat, sunlight or withdrawal of water from cooking light.
  • Hill. In addition to joining the phospholipids, it serves to make acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter involved in memory, so their involvement in these ailments is twofold. In addition, a consumer right by pregnant women during pregnancy prevents possible defects of the neural tube of the baby.
    Hill sources: is mainly present in egg yolk of egg, liver, soybean, meat, milk and peanut.
  • Acid folic, Pyridoxine, cyanocobalamin. They are included in Group B vitamins and involved in the proper functioning of the nervous system. Its deficiency may cause some neurological disorders. During pregnancy is also prescribed maternal supplementation with folic acid to correct neurological training of your baby.
    It sources of vitamins of the b group vitamin B12 or cyanocobalamin is in food of animal origin: meat, fish, dairy and eggs. Folic acid is in leafy, Brewer's yeast, liver. Vitamin B6 is widely distributed in nature and, therefore, food of plant origin, integral cereals and nuts.
  • Polyunsaturated fatty acidsomega-3, especially acid docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). They form part of the cellular membranes. Hence its lack can cause structural failures affecting the functioning of neurons.
    Sources of omega 3: this fat is found mainly in oily fish.
  • Uridine. It is a molecule that has components that are part of the myelin sheath that covers part of the neurons and allow transmission of nerve impulses.
    Sources of uridine: there are significant numbers of uridine in meat, fish and vegetable.

Nutrition advice in neurodegenerative diseases

Then we tried to provide some tips and nutritional recommendations that can help you cope better with your neurodegenerative disease:
  • A varied and colorful menu. It is more important to take a generous diet of plant foods, with more fish than meat, with emphasis on blue fish, to be selecting one foods that contain more or less of a particular nutrient. Ultimately, choose a menu adapted to each situation and to help provide or maintain an adequate nutritional status of the person, getting a proper weight and avoiding the extremes, both excess and defect. The closest thing to this is the renowned Mediterranean diet, which is based on three fundamental pillars: cereals as the basis of food (wheat), consumption of olive oil as an ingredient star kitchen, and derivatives of fruit intake (in this case, uva). All accompanied by the use of vegetables: legumes and vegetables and fish.
  • Diet suits your disease. Once established the neurodegenerative disease, herself, also may condition the food and possible malnutrition and lack of protective elements if the characteristics, both nutritional, physical or culinary do not fit well. For example, we talked about the importance of antioxidant vitamins contained in colorful and taken raw fruits. If an affected person's Alzheimer's disease can't eat whole, we must crush these fruits, but in crude oil, and be taken no more paddling so that they conserve its vitamin content. This is difficult on many occasions. Another example: If the patient suffers from dysphagia, difficulty swallowing certain foods in liquid state, is possible for this reason limiting excessive use of some of them, such as milk. So the main recommendation in these cases is adapt the diet to each situation.
  • Beware of nutritional supplements. There are some nutrients that will supplement in pregnancy and lactation in a way more or less Protocol. For example the omega 3 fatty acids, folic acid, iodine, iron according to prior reservations, etc. Although these add-ins are studied and are recommended, the rest of supplementation for the improvement or prevention of neurological pathologies, where you can get a much higher dose of certain dietary component of artificial form, that is, apart from the diet, it is not justified nor demonstrated, today, to provide benefits.
  • Healthy lifestyle. Not everything is nutrition, to prevent diseases neurodegenerative must acquire as habits shares as physical activity on a daily basis, not to smoke, not to take drugs, use our free time in activities that we meet, live in little contaminated environments, avoid stress, keep us active mentally, physics and so on. A trend that seems difficult to adopt today, but constitutes the best anti-disease therapy.
Published for educational purposes
Health and Wellness

Recommended Contents