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Top 6 Things You Can Do to Prevent Alzheimer’s Now
New studies show that our diet and exercise routines can delay or even prevent the onset of the most commonly known form of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease.
For those of you in your 50’s, there is still time to act on these studies. In fact, research suggests that this is the perfect time to make the lifestyle changes that can keep you from developing dementia within the next 20 or 30 years.
Take a look at the top 6 science based changes you can make to your life today to prevent Alzheimer’s tomorrow.
1. Your brain and belly have a connection
Rush University Medical Center researchers found that the protein that is responsible for breaking down fats in your liver is also found in the learning and memory center of the brain. Persons that have higher levels of abdominal fat have a lower count of these proteins, which would meant that those with belly fat can derail these vital proteins from their most important function in the brain.
Another study conducted at the University of Eastern Finland, done over a 14 year period, found that making healthy food choices in your 50’s reduced the possibility of developing dementia by as much as 90 percent, compared to those who ate sugar filled, high fat diets.
Strive to eat a wide variety of natural, healthy foods every day. Avoid sugar (find out products that hide sugar), fat, and processed foods as much as possible. Drink plenty of water, and take supplements if you feel you cannot get enough vitamins in the amount of food you are eating. These are all common pieces of advice regarding nutrition, but not ones that people take to heart. Hopefully, this message sticks.
2. Cut the fat
Once we reach our 50’s, this becomes even more important, and it’s never too late to change. Studies show that your diet in your midlife years is perhaps the most important. Making smart dietary choices, especially avowing foods that are high in saturated fats, such as dairy products and meat, can reduce your risk of developing dementia. Many researchers suggest that a Mediterranean diet is one of the best ones to adopt for healthy eating.
3. Buy local and buy organic
Many imported produce items are laden with DDT, a chemical long since banned in the US but still used in other countries. Many pesticides, but especially DDT, has been linked through several studies to higher incidences of Alzheimer’s, especially for those over 60 years of age. Eat organic and buy local produce at a farmers market for the best possible health.
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4. Move things around
The part of your brain that is responsible for reasoning and memory is called the hippocampus and it’s the first target of Alzheimer’s. Now it is normal for the hippocampus to decrease in size as we age but one study, conducted at the University Of Maryland School Of Public Health, discovered that even moderate exercise could prevent the hippocampus from shrinking. So get moving! Any exercise is better than none!
5. Learn a new skill
Eating right, losing weight, and getting exercise are great ways to help fight Alzheimer’s but learning new tricks is another way to do this. Studies show that learning another language can delay the condition. Learning new hobbies, such as sewing, dancing, or cooking exotic or foreign foods are also good ways to avoid or delay Alzheimer’s, according to a study published in the journal Neurology.
Yep, getting enough shut eye is another important factor. Your body repairs itself while you sleep so cutting your nights short to play Bingo isn’t doing your brain any favors. Keep a regular sleeping pattern and aim to get 8 hours sleep every night. Your brain will thank you later.