One of the dietary minerals can prevent cognitive decline.. Get to know it

The foods a person eats affect their health and weight, and can even directly influence feelings, moods, and other aspects such as cognitive function. In fact, diets that contain certain amounts of minerals such as sodium and potassium can have an effect on brain function, especially in older adults, according to a recent study published in Global Transitions.

Sodium dangers

Researchers from China have found that diets high in sodium are associated with a higher risk of cognitive decline and memory impairment and deterioration. On the other hand, study participants who had more potassium in their diet were associated with higher cognitive function.

Sodium nitrate

Sodium nitrate

The study included more than 4,000 participants in China, all of whom were 50 years of age or older. Each participant’s cognitive abilities and cognitive function were tested, including verbal memory, executive function, numeracy skills, and attention. Participants with lower cognitive scores were considered to be more likely to have cognitive impairment and vice versa for those with higher cognitive scores.

optimal proportions

The researchers believe that it is important to focus on determining the optimal ratio of sodium and potassium in the diet of the elderly, in light of the findings of the study.

Due to the irreversible nature of dementia and the lack of effective treatment methods, early prevention and detection of cognitive decline are crucial measures to treat dementia and other cognitive diseases, said researcher Professor Ai Shao, assistant professor and researcher at Tsinghua University College of Medicine.

increased potassium;

“Lifestyle behaviours, particularly dietary factors, are some of the most important factors to consider,” added Professor Shaw, noting that “encouraging higher potassium and lower sodium intake could be an easy way to prevent cognitive decline.”

a precaution

Ballini Winifred, MD, a registered dietitian in New York, said that since there are no drugs or treatments for cognitive loss, this study highlights the potential role that diet can play in cognitive function and prevent (or slow) the progression of cognitive decline.

The role of sodium and potassium

Sodium and potassium are essential minerals that play important roles in maintaining proper bodily functions. Sodium is particularly necessary for fluid balance, nerve signal transmission, and healthy muscle function, including the heart muscle. People with low sodium intakes can experience symptoms of muscle weakness, confusion, fatigue, seizures, and more.

blood pressure and dementia

Megan Wong, a registered dietitian, said, “It is clear that we need sodium, but eating too much of it can be a problem,” explaining that, “Eating large amounts of sodium can increase the risk of dementia by causing high blood pressure, Which, over time, leads to damage to the blood vessels connected to the brain.”

Not only do blood vessels carry oxygen and nutrients to the brain, but they also play a major role in removing carbon dioxide and waste, keeping brain cells clean and healthy.

Wong said potassium also helps maintain proper heart function and muscle function by helping the kidneys get rid of excess sodium. It also keeps blood vessels relaxed, she added, “which facilitates blood flow through them and reduces pressure on the walls of blood vessels.” Moreover, potassium is essential for healthy bones, kidneys, nerves, and muscles.

While more studies are needed to understand the effects of sodium intake on cognitive function, Katherine Piper, a Missouri-based registered dietitian, said excessive sodium intake can cause water retention, which causes additional pressure in blood vessels and, in turn, leads to increased stress. blood pressure and the risk of cardiovascular and cerebrovascular disease, explaining that this condition “makes it more difficult to transport oxygen to the brain and reduces activity and function in the brain.”

But potassium helps regulate blood pressure by counteracting the effect of sodium, and also opens up blood vessels to allow easier blood flow.

Common sources of potassium

• the banana
• Orange
• Dried fruits such as prunes and raisins
Cooked spinach
• potato
• Option
Leafy vegetables
• Yogurt
• Milk
• Tomatoes

Useful Tips

The following tips can help reduce sodium levels and increase potassium:
• Read nutrition labels and pay close attention to the sodium content of foods.
• Avoid using packaged, frozen or pre-prepared instant food products as much as possible.
• Choose fresh and whole foods instead of processed, packaged and frozen foods.
• Eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables daily.
• Get at least three daily servings of dairy products, such as milk, yogurt and cheese.
• Avoid using salt (or seasonings that contain salt) when cooking.
• Use herbs and spices to flavor foods instead of salt.

recommended quantities

It is generally recommended that adults consume no more than 2,300 mg of sodium per day — about 1 teaspoon of salt. Some health organizations suggest no more than 1,500 mg per day for most adults, or those with high blood pressure. Adults should also get at least 4,700 mg of potassium per day.

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