I just heard the other day that every 66 seconds someone is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. My Grandfather suffered from dementia for the last few years of his life. Even though I spent time with him regularly throughout my life, in the end he no longer knew who I was when I visited him. I don’t want to end my life that way or put my family through that experience so I’m taking care of my brain today to prevent dementia and Alzheimer’s in the future.
The good news is that neither dementia nor Alzheimer’s Disease is a natural part of aging. It is a progressive degeneration of the brain which leads to memory loss and impaired thinking. In 2014, Neurobiology of Aging published an article listing seven guidelines that people can follow related to diet and exercise. Here are some of those suggestions modified for maximum effectiveness that you can follow today to help prevent Alzheimer’s.
- Get at least 120 minutes of exercise per week (include some intense bursts of 20 seconds to one minute to get more oxygen and the good form of nitric oxide to the brain)
- Eat Coconut Fat – 4 tablespoons daily has shown to be a brain aid as medium chain triglycerides are fuel for the brain and may slow progression of Alzheimer’s
- Supplement with a Vitamin B 50 or 100 Complex (one daily)
- Supplement with iron but only when a deficiency is shown through current blood work (iron is toxic when not needed)
- Go aluminum free (buy deodorant, baking soda and cookware that are aluminum free)
- Eat less sugar, which is inflammatory
- Avoid trans-fats and processed foods
- Learn new things: take classes, do puzzles, play brain games, use your mind in different ways to keep it working optimally
- Decrease stress as it is damaging to the brain and the rest of the body
Two books I have read that are great resources for brain health are “Why Isn’t My Brain Working: A Revolutionary Understanding of Brain Decline and Effective Strategies to Recover Your Brain’s Health” by Dr. Datis Kharrazian and “Grain Brain: The Surprising Truth about Wheat, Carbs, and Sugar – Your Brain’s Silent Killers” by David Perlmutter. A good resource for Alzheimer’s information including a list of early warning signs is the Alzheimer’s Association website.
I also work with clients to create customized brain health programs through one on one appointments. While you may not experience symptoms today, as with all areas of our health, a little maintenance goes a long way to have and keep a healthy brain.