If you have and elderly loved one who is at risk for Alzheimer’s disease, or dementia runs in your family and you’d like to get ahead of the curve, this article is for you. You might be wondering about the causes of Alzheimer’s, the risk of getting it, and what you can do to prevent, delay, or otherwise, mitigate the effects of it. Whatever the case, you are definitely not alone. Here are fifteen things you can do to reduce your risk of developing Alzheimer’s.
It may surprise you to learn that regular exercise plays a significant role in mental health. The human body is a group of systems all working together, so what happens in one sphere (physically, emotionally, mentally, etc.) affects all the others as well. In this case, physical exercise stimulates brain activity by giving your mind something to focus on. Furthermore, exercise causes your body to manufacture more of the hormones that help your brain run efficiently, thereby protecting mental health. This is especially true if you engage in workouts that involve quick, intense burst, rather than longer and slower workouts.
Maintaining a healthy diet can go a long way for staving off Alzheimer’s disease. Diabetes is one condition that is a known risk factor for Alzheimer’s, as are high blood cholesterol and inflammation, so a diet low in added and unnatural fats and sugars can kill two birds with one stone. A proper diet can also elevate your mood, which will protect you against mental and physical illness. Diets rich in Omega -3 fatty acids (fish, chia seeds, walnuts, soybeans, spinach) stimulate brain health. Cinnamon can replace added sugar as a low calorie sweet that boosts energy and lowers cholesterol.
Cut down on Alcohol
While it is often mentioned that the occasional glass of red wine is good for heart health, drinking to excess is a bad idea. In fact, the FDA advises that no more than one drink of alcohol should be consumed daily and that too much can cause memory loss. Too much alcohol intake can increase your blood pressure, damage your organs, and even exacerbate mental illness. Alcohol is especially harmful to people with depression or addictive personalities. Additionally, alcohol, especially in excess, can encourage one to make bad decisions, which can create other issues with physical, emotional, and social health.