There’s no doubt about it – Alzheimer’s is a terrible disease. It slowly and insidiously eats away at your mental facilities, causing your memory to slip from lackluster to nearly nonexistent in time. Not only do you forget things such as where you placed the house keys or the mail, but you can also forget those closest to you. Additionally, if you were to ever develop the disease, you could potentially experience other symptoms including mood changes and problems with communication and reasoning.
Sadly, more than an estimated 5 million Americans have this devastating disease. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, this number is expected to triple by 2050 if there are no significant medical breakthroughs. While scientists don’t fully understand what causes the disease to occur, we know that genes play an important role and that obesity is linked to Alzheimer’s as well.
So what can you do right now to help you reduce your risks of developing Alzheimer’s? Follow these 7 tips below to help you cut your chances today!
Go Organic – The organic trend isn’t going to die out anytime soon and for good reason. Researchers say that exposure to DDT, a toxin that has been banned in America since 1972 (but is still being used as a pesticide in other countries), may increase both the risk and the severity of Alzheimer’s disease, especially in those over the age of 60. You can be exposed to DDT by consuming imported fruits, veggies, and grains and also eating fish from contaminated waterways. Purchase organic produce that is grown here in America. It might cost a little more, but it’s well worth the cost.
Start Exercising – There are many studies that show how physical fitness can play a role in reducing your risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease. Scientists believe that exercise benefits the brain by providing it fresh oxygen and nutrients from the blood, creating brain-derived neurotrophic factors, and dousing the brain in feel-good endorphins. This just shows that exercise isn’t just good for your body – it’s great for your brian as well!
Pick Up Another Language – Hablas español? Interested in learning Japanese or French? Great news! A recent study published in the journal Neurology shows that speaking a second language may delay the onset of 3 types of dementia. Scientists believe that speaking more than one language is a pathway to improved development of the areas of the brain that handle executive functions and attention tasks. This can really help delay the onset of Alzheimer’s. So pick up a book or take a class and start learning a second (or third!) language, if you haven’t already!
Reduce Stress – Stress is inevitable, but there are definitely ways to manage and reduce it. If you’re worried about your health, do yourself a favor and stop. Worrying itself is a form of stress, so worrying about losing your memory can actually worsen your chances of maintaining a healthy mind. Meditating twice a day for stress relief can help reverse some memory loss.
Challenge Your Mind – Engaging in mental activities can help you maintain and improve your brain’s health. Take up crossword puzzles in the weekly paper, play trivia games with your friends, increase your reading volume, or try your hand at Sudoku. These activities can help stave off Alzheimer’s.
Eat Right – Research has linked obesity to a greater risk of getting dementia. Eating more fruits and vegetables, consuming more Omega 3 fats, and managing your weight through calorie control are all great habits for you to take up in order to fight off Alzheimer’s (and make your body feel good, too). You won’t just boost your brain power – you’ll also improve your physical health and your quality of life! So put the cookie down now and indulge in a healthy fruit smoothie or some fresh cut bell peppers instead!
Get Enough Sleep – Sleeping between 6 and 8 hours at night will help bolster your mental health. Any less or more than that, however, along with the lack of cognitive stimulation such as reading, can increase your risk of cognitive impairments and dementia. Additionally, getting enough sleep is shown to help increase one’s memory. So set up your alarm clock and get some good rest!
Regardless of your age, the time to get started on employing these tips in your life is right now. It’s never too early, and it’s never too late to protect your brain from dementia and Alzheimer’s! If you feel that you would be more at peace with testing, we can help there. Come to Labtest Diagnostics to receive testing for Alzheimer’s and dementia, along with several other diseases. Schedule an appointment with us online at www.dlabtest.com!