- Alzheimer’s is caused by genetics, environment, and unhealthy diet and habits.
- Keep your brain active by eating a healthy diet, exercising, learning new skills, getting enough sleep, being bilingual, and keeping socially active.
- Avoid fried fast foods, pastries and sweets and go for salads of green leafy vegetables instead.
In the US, an estimated 5.5 million people have Alzheimer’s disease. In the world, around 50 million suffer from Alzheimer’s and other related medical conditions like dementia.
Alzheimer’s affects a person’s brain functions resulting in memory loss and abnormal behaviors. Early symptoms range from forgetting places, names, and common words which escalate to confusion and changes in decision making, being unreasonable, and inability to perform daily tasks until one becomes dependent on others to normally function.
Alzheimer’s can be caused by genes or hereditary which is fewer than 5% cases, lifestyle, and environmental factors.
Diagnosis is through memory and cognitive function tests, behavior evaluation, and MRI or CT scan to determine if it is not due to other conditions.
To lessen risk of developing the disease, here are 6 ways to fight Alzheimer’s.
1. Nutrition: Eat More Brainfood
Results of one study show that eating a healthy diet of lean meat, healthy fats, and abundance of leafy vegetables can lessen the risk of Alzheimer’s by up to 53%.
What to eat?
- Hearty salads that have antioxidants made of green, leafy vegetables like spinach, romaine lettuce, kale,
- 2 servings each week of fatty fish or oily fish like herring, salmon, and mackerel to improve mental function
- Moderate amounts of Coffee and tea
- Berries like strawberries, raspberries, blueberries help protect brain function
- Nuts like walnuts
What to take less off:
- Fried/fast foods
- Pastries and sweets
- Butter/stick margarine
2. Stay Active Through Exercise
When you exercise and keep your body active, it lowers the risk of developing Alzheimer’s by slowing down the brain drain. Even just 10 minutes of exercise daily 3 to 4 times a week can boost brain function. 30 minutes of daily exercise would be best.
3. Get enough sleep
Lack of sleep or impaired sleep can lead to stroke, heart attacks, arthritis and other serious medical conditions. A peaceful and restful sleep can improve proper brain functions.
4. Learn something new to keep your brain active
Enroll in free online classes, learn a new skill. This can even lead to a new job as you can add new skills and training to your resume. Dance, cook, crochet, do macrame, complete a jigsaw puzzle. Let your curiosity rule you or your passion drive you to take that class.
5. Speak a different language other than your native one
It is okay if you are not 100% fluent in another language, as long as you challenge yourself to learn, understand, and speak a different one.
6. Keep In Touch With Friends and Family
Protect your brain from stagnating by maintaining social connections. Spend time with friends and family, catch up on the latest news about what’s happening in their lives; Make that call or visit them. This also prevents one from getting lonely and developing depression.
It is not just the physical aspects that causes the mind to function normally but also one’s mental health. Be with other people and talk to them. Share experiences and new learnings.