The idea of losing your ability to think clearly and remember people and places is a very scary thing for anyone who is getting older. Unfortunately Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) is on the rise in the U.S. (an estimated 4.5 million Americans live with dementia). But you should not feel hopeless; there are things you can do to prevent this common form of dementia or delay it from emerging. Genetics do play a role but how you live and eat can have a big effect on preventing the disease.
8 Ways to Prevent Dementia
1- Keep Your Heart Healthy: Small strokes result in vascular dementia. When the blood supply to the brain is altered it can adversely affect cognitive ability. To reduce your risk of stroke, control your blood pressure and cholesterol with an active lifestyle, a healthy natural diet and with medication, if you have to.
2- Get Enough Vitamin B: Individuals with AD tend to have higher blood levels of homocysteine, an amino acid that increases your risk of dementia. Eating foods that are high in B vitamins and folic acid keeps homocysteine levels under control. You can also take a multivitamin supplement that has vitamin B6, B12 and folic acid in it.
3- Eat a lot of Fruits and Vegetables: Fruits and vegetables have nutrients in them that can prevent brain damage. Eating a diet high in whole natural fruits and vegetables is a great way to keep your body healthy.
4- Exercise Regularly: Studies have shown that just 15 minutes of exercise three days per week can lower the risk of developing dementia. Walking for 30 minutes every day is a smart way to keep your body and mind healthy.
5- Eat Food high in Omega 3s: Eating fish once per week reduced the risk of AD according to a recent study that followed over 800 adults and eating even more omega-3 rich foods reduced the risk even further. Walnuts, flaxseed and soy are all high in omega-3s.
6- Challenge the Brain: Giving your brain a workout is a good way to lower your risk of AD. A person, who reads regularly, learns new things and solves puzzles exercises their brain, which can ward off decline.
7- Stay Socially Active: Older people who stay in touch with friends and have an active social life seem to preserve their brain function better that those who don’t get out and stay active. It’s important to keep in touch with family and friends, and talk to new people.
8- Keep Diabetes Under Control: You’re at a higher risk of developing AD if you have diabetes. Keep your blood sugar levels under control and take medication if you have to, to reduce your risk. Keep a healthy weight, watch your sugar intake and stay physically active.
These are some of the things that we can do to ward off disease. Living a healthy active lifestyle, eating right and not worrying about things that are out of your control (like getting older) will not only prevent disease but it will make you less stressed and concerned about it. I hope this list of 8 Ways to Prevent Dementia will help you take a more active approach to keeping yourself healthy.
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Best – Mike Cola