5 Lifestyle Changing Habits to Lower Risk of Alzheimer’s Disease [Video]

  • Alzheimer’s is now the 6th leading cause of death in the US, by 2050 the number could be over 1 million.
  • Having a healthy food diet not only feeds your body but also your brain.
  • Combining this with exercise, meditation, healthy social relationships, and taking multivitamins or supplements, can lower your risk of getting Alzheimer’s.

According to The National Institute on Aging, Alzheimer’s is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. A research published in the Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association projects that by 2050, death by Alzheimer’s will be over 1 Million.

If Americans adapted lifestyle changes, it can help slow down the onset of Alzheimer’s.

Psychiatrist Gary Small, MD, director of the UCLA Longevity Center and author of The Alzheimer’s Prevention Program, said that while research has not yet proven that these lifestyle changes can indefinitely prevent the disease, “If you read the small print, the evidence is compelling.”

So, what are the 5 lifestyle changes that you can make to protect you from acquiring Alzheimer’s?

1. Feed your brain

According to Dr. Small, “If you’re overweight at midlife, it doubles your risk for dementia. If you’re obese, it quadruples it.”  Eat a hearty diet, but keep the portions and junk food in moderation.

Photo Credit: Northern Virginia Magazine

A Mediterranean diet of lean protein like fish, whole grains, and heavy on vegetables and fruits, lowers the risk of diabetes which is a major risk for Alzheimer’s, or the dash diet which is designed to treat high blood pressure, also lowers the risk of getting Alzheimer’s.  A more conclusive study needs to be conducted to establish more clearly the direct relationship between diet and Alzheimer’s.

2. Go for a power walk

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With a balanced diet combined with regular exercise, the risk of acquiring Alzheimer’s is even lowered.

“You can build brain muscle,” says Dr. Small. “You don’t have to become a triathlete—park your car a bit of a distance from your destination. Take one flight of stairs. Start slowly and build up.”

In a study conducted by researchers in Wisconsin and published in 2017 in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, it was revealed that people who do moderate-intensity exercise like brisk walking for at least 68 minutes a day, showed better glucose metabolism in their brains than those who did not exercise.

3. Relax, relax, relax

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Stress has a negative impact on your mental and physical health and could lead to higher risk of getting Alzheimer’s.  Start your day with meditation, do yoga or tai-chi, listen to soothing music, do leisurely walks, or have a home-spa.

Dr. Small said, “Whatever you do, don’t stress about your Alzheimer’s prevention plan. Baby steps can take you a long way.”  

4. Nurture your relationships

Build and nurture social relationships by having a lunch or dinner date with friends, talk politics or the latest news, or enroll in an art class. You not only have fun you also keep your brain working.

A 2019 research published in PLoS Medicine suggests that more social contact can lower the risk of developing dementia.

5.  Consider adding a vitamin or supplement

Dr. Small recommends taking multivitamins or food supplements to help lower the risk of Alzheimer’s. 

He said that he sees it as an insurance because “As we get older, we don’t always absorb all the nutrients we need.”.

Consult with your doctor if you could add moderate amounts of curcumin found in turmeric which reduces inflammation in both brain and body, and fish oil that provides omega-3 fatty acids to keep your cognitive function on track. 

Source: The Healthy

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