What You Eat Could Raise Your Alzheimer’s Risk

Everything you consume impacts your gut bacteria, and as we’re finding out these days, that bacteria is pretty important. It affects your metabolism, your mood, inflammation and your immune system, sleep habits, and even your mental health. And, yes, eating foods that negatively impact your gut bacteria can even increase your risks for certain diseases – including Alzheimer’s.

That’s why it’s important to ensure you eat healthy, gut-friendly foods and avoid those which might wreak havoc on your microbiota.

Unhealthy Food

Your Microbiome Explained

The human body is home to an estimated 100 trillion bacteria. There are also other microbes like fungi, protozoa, and viruses, too. Yes, tons of microorganisms call your body their home, and that’s actually a good thing. Your microbiota’s genes are what form your microbiome, which actually has far more genes than even your own DNA.

Research has recently showed us that our microbiomes affect many different aspects of our health. In a way, it’s even like having a whole second brain. And this is why you should aim to take care of these beneficial microbes.

Serious Health Effects

Changes in your microbiota can lead to “leaky gut syndrome,” in which certain microorganisms can enter your bloodstream. This can have a major impact on your body’s chemistry as these microorganisms can produce amyloids. These protein compounds can end up traveling through your bloodstream all the way to your brain.

Alzheimer’s is often marked by an accumulation of amyloid plaques that build up between your brain’s nerve cells.

Additionally, as these protein molecules are attacked by antibodies, inflammation occurs. A diet that’s high in pro-inflammatory fatty acids and/or low in beneficial antioxidants can make things far worse.

Why Your Diet Matters

Like taking care of a beloved pet, it’s important to ensure you’re feeding your microbiota well. Of course, in this case, your own health seriously depends on it. To promote a healthy microbiome, you should have a diet that’s rich in fruits and vegetables and high in fiber.

There are also many dietary fibers – also known as prebiotics – that can help good bacteria flourish. (These are not to be confused with probiotics though.) Healthline has a great list of recommended foods you can work into your diet.

Plus, there are also certain polyphenols – like those found in black and green teas – than can inhibit the growth of bad bacteria.

It’s best to avoid refined sugars and eating too much meat. Also, certain drugs like antibiotics and NSAIDs can be damaging to your microbiome as well.