admin - August 29, 2013
Alzheimer’s disease affects more than 5 million people in the United States, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. This number could triple by the year 2050. While many factors play a role in the development of Alzheimer’s, people can make several lifestyle changes today to lower their risk for getting this devastating disease.
According to the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America, below are the “top 10 rules” to live by to lower Alzheimer’s disease risk:
1. Give your brain a workout by engaging in mentally challenging games and tasks. Crossword puzzles, number games, word games and even learning a new skill or new task can strengthen existing brain connections and possibly generate new ones, making the brain stronger and healthier.
2. Give your body a workout, too. Staying physically active and maintaining a healthy weight contributes to your body’s overall health, including brain health. Physical activity promotes blood flow to the brain stimulating the growth of brain connections.
3. Feed your brain with foods that naturally lower cholesterol, fight high blood pressure, and are lower in fat. These foods also help guard against obesity, a leading risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease.
4. Eat protective foods that research has shown can help protect brain cells and lower risk of heart disease and stroke. These include dark-skinned fruits and vegetables, which are high in antioxidants, fish high in omega-3 fatty acids, and some nuts.
5. Don’t let depression go untreated. Depression can affect both physical and intellectual health, both of which affect your risk for Alzheimer’s Disease.
6. Protect your heart and blood vessels. Blood flow and oxygen flow to the brain are crucial for maintaining optimum brain health. High blood pressure and heart disease limit blood and oxygen flow to the entire body, including the brain, raising the risk for cognitive problems.
7. Taking vitamin supplements every day can also help lower the risk of Alzheimer’s. Vitamins E, B12, C and folic acid all help support a healthy cardiovascular system and help the brain function at peak performance.
8. Remain socially active with friends, family and loved ones. These social bonds stimulate intellectual activity in the brain. Joining a club, volunteering or attending church can promote social well-being.
9. Get help to stop smoking, which is a habit with numerous negative health consequences including consequences for the brain.
10. Choose a doctor you feel comfortable with and follow his or her advice. Having great doctors is pointless if you don’t listen to and follow their medical guidance.
Lastly, we’ve added one final tip: use a health screening service like Life Line Screening to become aware of undiagnosed health conditions that could contribute to Alzheimer’s disease, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes or high cholesterol. Knowing the state of your health can empower you with the ability to prevent more serious, life-altering problems down the road.
4 Comments so far