Alzheimer’s is a devastating disease. It rips away your memory and personality. And it even erases your relationships.
But what most folks don’t realize is it’s also a killer.
It’s true. Alzheimer’s is fatal. In fact, it’s the sixth leading cause of death here in the United States.
Alzheimer’s is a progressive form of dementia. As it destroys your brain cells, you eventually become bedridden, unable to feed yourself and even swallow.
And unlike many other deadly diseases, the number of cases of Alzheimer’s is on the rise.
But it’s not all bad news. Because while genetics may have a role to play in the disease, we also know there are things you can do to send your risk for Alzheimer’s plummeting.
Prevent Alzheimer’s by reversing these risks
If you want to protect your brain, you can start by babying your heart. Because without a healthy heart your brain essentially starts to starve.
Healthy circulation is critical for carrying nutrients and oxygen everywhere in your body, including to your brain. Plus good blood flow is vital for shuttling waste products, such as Alzheimer’s linked beta amyloid, to your liver and kidneys to be processed and eliminated.
High blood pressure and unhealthy cholesterol can also raise your risk for Alzheimer’s disease.
And experts say quitting smoking, regular exercise and maintaining a healthy weight and blood sugar levels can all whittle away at your risk as well.
But don’t stop there. Some changes to your diet can slash your dementia risk too.
And don’t worry they’re not just painless, they’re delicious!
Feed your brain with Alzheimer’s fighting foods
Eating a healthy diet filled with fresh, organic foods you fix yourself is good for your whole body, including your brain.
But to reduce your risk and help prevent Alzheimer’s be sure to eat more of these three brain-friendly foods.
Ever notice how walnuts look an awful lot like a miniature brain?
I sure have. And I could swear that’s nature giving us a little wink. Because it turns out, they’re terrific for our brain health.
When you munch on a fistful of walnuts, you’re feeding your brain the fats, fiber and antioxidants it craves. Plus you’re getting some neuroprotective vitamin E, folate and melatonin in every bite.
Walnuts also contain plenty of the brain-friendly omega-3 fatty acid DHA. Experts say DHA can improve cognitive function and help fight age-related cognitive decline.
A large study conducted at the University of California found that walnut eaters tend to have better memory, concentration and thinking speed than folks who avoid them.
Snack on a handful several days a week to support your brain and help prevent Alzheimer’s.
Have you ever heard before that fish is brain food? It’s true. And wild-caught, fatty fish such as salmon are the perfect choice.
And, once again, it’s the omega-3s that get credit here… especially DHA. Our brains simply function better when they’re swimming in the stuff. In one study, volunteers taking a DHA supplement had significant improvements in both their memory and reaction time.
And other research has found that omega-3 can literally increase the gray matter in our brains. In fact, in one study researchers found the regular fish eaters had reduced their risk of mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s by almost five fold.
And recent research published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease confirmed our brains thrive when they’re fed plenty of omega-3s. According to the researchers, omega-3 was associated with better blood flow to areas of the brain linked to learning, memory and dementia.
Aim for at least one serving of wild-caught, fatty fish a week.
Oxidative stress can put our brain aging on fast forward. But blueberries—or as I like to call them brainberries—may be able to help.
Blueberries are rich in antioxidants which can help protect our brains against oxidative stress. In fact, researchers say the antioxidants in these delicious little berries can directly interact with our neurons, improving their function.
In one study, elderly volunteers who we already suffering from mild cognitive impairment drank blueberry juice for 12 weeks. At the end of the study, they had measurable improvements in learning ability and word recall.
And in other research blueberries and strawberries have been shown to help delay cognitive decline by over two years when eaten regularly.
We don’t yet have a cure for dementia. But you can help keep your mind sharp, your memories intact and help prevent Alzheimer’s by making a few small changes in your life.
Start by getting a bit more exercise and watching your weight and diet. And then eat more of these three delicious, brain-friendly foods.