5 Ways to Avoid Alzheimer's DiseaseDid you know that September is Alzheimer's month? Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia, is a degenerative condition through which you lose your memory, thinking, and brain activity. Even if your current cognitive capacities are normal, harm to your brain can start as early as 10 - 20 years before you see any symptoms.
There are ways to reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s disease before any signs of it begin to manifest. Here are some of them….
Many medical professionals recommend that you eat a Mediterranean diet, which denotes significant amounts of:
- Unsaturated fatty acids
- Judicious amounts of wine
These foods are rich in nutrients that decrease stress on your brain. For example, red wine has high levels of resveratrol, which is packed with antioxidants.
Try to consume the right kinds of fat. Your brain does not do well with industrial trans fats, but it does especially well with Omega-3 oils. Your diet or supplements should also include B12, vitamin D, and polyphenol antioxidants, which you will find in fruits and vegetables.
Physical activity allows your blood to flow more efficiently, which reduces your risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Case in point, a lack of exercise may lead to a condition called hypercholesterolemia in which excess cholesterol builds up in your blood. In so doing, it does not allow blood to flow properly to your brain. Exercise can help mitigate this risk!
Working Out Your Brain:
Placing high demands on your brain can build ‘cognitive reserves.’ In other words, exercising your brain produces efficacious neural networks that are difficult for Alzheimer’s disease to penetrate. Brain games, like crossword puzzles and Sudoku, exert high demands on your cognitive system and keep it in shape! Reading a challenging text, like a Shakespearian play, will keep your mind full of life. Even being socially active can keep your brain busy!
One excellent quiz website that you may want to try is Sporcle. It contains over 270 000 free games, but be careful-it can be extremely addicting!
Sufficient sleep lets your brain age properly. Indeed, a lack of sleep may allow toxic plaques to form in your brain.
Remembering things is easier when you are relaxed instead of stressed. Researchers have found a relationship between high levels of stress and brain proteins that are conducive to Alzheimer’s disease. Finding ways to manage your stress may decrease your chances of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Make sure that you have time to yourself, time off from work, and a support system (i.e. family and friends) to whom you can openly talk. Yoga is also a great way to relax your mind.
While some factors that lead to Alzheimer’s disease may be out of your control, there are multiple lifestyle considerations that may reduce your chances of developing Alzheimer's disease:
- Eat well
- Exercise your body
- Exercise your brain
- Get enough sleep
- Find time to relax
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How do you keep your brain in shape? Share your tips and ideas in the Comments section below!