Alzheimer’s disease is classified as an irreversible disease, which means that once you have it, you can never go back to the way you were before. Every year, millions of people are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and the statistics reach 32 percent of the older people affected.
According to a recent scientific study, the brain of a person with Alzheimer’s disease changes 20 years before symptoms appear. We’ve researched various ways to prevent Alzheimer’s disease, and we’ve come up with a list of things we should start doing relatively young.
6 proven ways to prevent Alzheimer’s disease
What Can You Do To Avoid Alzheimer’s Disease?
Regular exercise can reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease by up to 50%, according to the Alzheimer’s Research Foundation. Not only does physical activity maintain blood flow, but it also increases chemicals that protect the brain.
Exercise also tends to decrease some of the natural reduction in brain connections that occurs with aging.
Exercise for at least 150 minutes a week: Incorporate some cardio and strength training into your routine. If you are just starting out, you can try swimming or walking.
Start lifting weights to build muscle and pump your brain: add 2-3 weightlifting sessions per week. This will increase muscle mass and help maintain brain health.
Balance Coordination Exercises: These exercises will give you excellent balance skills, using most of your muscles to keep you from falling and staying agile.
Humans are social creatures by nature. We like attention and communication and we never seek isolation. Staying socially engaged can really protect our brains against Alzheimer’s disease.
It is important to maintain and also develop strong social networks with people to prevent Alzheimer’s. This will not only benefit the brain, but also mental health.
If you become more isolated as you get older, here are some things you can do to be more social and meet new people:
- Join a social group or a class.
- Visit the local community center.
- Take some classes on a subject that interests you.
- Meet your neighbors.
- Go out more often (movies, parks, cafes, etc…)
Improve Your Diet
Alzheimer’s disease is often described as “brain diabetes.” This is because some tests show a strong link between metabolic diseases/disorders and the signal processing system.
In Alzheimer’s disease, the presence of inflammation and insulin in the body resists damaged neurons and prevents communication between brain cells. By adapting to a healthier diet, you can help reduce inflammation and protect your brain.
Reduce sugar: Avoid sugar and simple carbohydrates like white flour, pasta, white rice, or anything with added sugar, as this leads to dramatic spikes in blood sugar levels, causing inflammation in brain.
Avoid hydrogenated oils: trans fats can cause inflammation and also produce free radicals, which are very harmful to the brain. Try to reduce your consumption of fast food and prepackaged foods.
Get More Omega-3s: DHA found in omega-3 fatty acids can help prevent Alzheimer’s disease and dementia by reducing beta-amyloid plaques.
Enjoy a cup of green tea: Regular consumption of green tea can increase alertness and memory, slowing down the aging of the brain. Drinking 2-3 cups of tea can benefit long-term brain health.
Take some dietary supplements: It has been proven that a diet rich in vitamins B-12 and folic acid can prevent Alzheimer’s as they are the vitamins responsible for forming DNA and keeping nerve cells and red blood cells healthy.
ALWAYS talk to your doctor before starting any supplement!
Research suggests that people who continue to try to educate themselves and gain more knowledge on various topics are less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease or dementia than those who do not.
There are several stimulating activities and mind games that can be easily incorporated into a daily lifestyle to ensure maximum mental stimulation.
Practice memorization: start with something that is simple, such as matching items with fixed words, forming pictures, memorizing lists of numbers, making associations, and linking items in a series to form a list.
Practice the 5 W’s: try to observe, question and describe as a researcher. Make the “What, Who, When, Where and Why” list part of your daily routine. Capturing these details will keep your neurons active and stimulated.
Learn something new: try learning a new language, start a new hobby, or study the history and culture of a different country. Read the daily newspaper or an information book. The greater the challenge, the greater the benefit.
Start Playing Strategy Games: Strategy games, brainteasers, and puzzles provide great brain training. They are based on the brain’s ability to form and maintain cognitive associations. Try some crosswords, cards, board games, and word/number games like Sudoku and Scrabble.
Get Enough Quality Sleep
It is very common for people with Alzheimer’s disease to experience insomnia and other sleep problems. A new study has shown that sleep disruption is not actually a symptom of Alzheimer’s disease, but rather a risk factor.
Poor sleep equates to higher levels of beta-amyloid, which is a protein that clogs the brain and prevents deep sleep (REM sleep), which is responsible for memory formation. If lack of sleep affects your thinking and mood, you have a higher chance of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
Reconsider taking a nap: While taking a nap is a great way to recharge, it makes your insomnia worse. If you suffer from insomnia, avoid naps altogether and wait to recharge your batteries at the end of the day.
Create a relaxing ritual at night: An hour or two before bed is the ideal time to mentally prepare your brain for sleep. The best way to do this is to dim the lights significantly and perhaps light a few candles to set the mood. Take a long, relaxing bath to get rid of toxins in your body and try reading a book, but keep it light. When this ritual becomes a habit, your brain will interpret it as a signal that it is time to go to bed.
Create a bedtime: Try to reinforce your natural circadian rhythms by going to bed and getting up at the same time each day. That way, your brain clock will respond regularly.
Do you know of other ways to prevent Alzheimer’s disease and dementia? Share them with us in the comment section below! And remember Healthy body = a Healthy mind.