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Minimizing the Risks of Alzheimer’s Disease

November is National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month.  As many of us know, this condition is characterized by declining cognitive functioning.  It is not the only form of dementia, but it is highly recognized, and some researchers fear it is on the rise.

Alzheimer’s Disease is characterized by declining cognitive functioning.

Regrettably, experts cannot assert with certainty that Alzheimer’s disease is preventable, but many health practitioners agree there are steps we can take to perhaps minimize the risks.  Let’s look at some of the possibilities.

  • Limit sugars.  Many physicians agree that diets high in refined sugars are not beneficial for a number of reasons, and Alzheimer’s disease is suspected to be among them.  But you like sweets?  Then consider raw or less refined, organic sugar (in small measures).  Still, if you are insulin resistant, always follow your doctor’s orders regarding sugar intake.
  • Exercise.  Exercise seems to surface as a superstar in multiple health arenas.  Actually, we now know that regular workouts are positive for not only the body but also the mind.  So, as long as your physician gives his or her approval, be sure to exercise.  In fact, researchers from The University of Maryland School of Public Health found exercise can improve cognitive functioning for individuals at risk of Alzheimer’s disease.  For addition information regarding this study, go to http://www.umdrightnow.umd.edu/news/exercise-may-be-best-medicine-alzheimers
  • Mind workouts.  Exercising the body is important to the brain, but so is exercising the mind.  Puzzles, board games, computer challenges, brainteasers, memory tests, crossword puzzles, college courses, etc., can sharpen the brain and perhaps delay (or reduce) dementia symptoms.  Therefore, be sure to engage in mentally challenging activities on a regular basis.
  • Proper diet.  The right food choices qualify as another all-around health benefit.  Lean meats, fresh vegetables (particularly the leafy variety), and fresh fruits (like wild blueberries) are great dietary selections.  Still, did you know that healthy fats, in moderation, like omega 3 fatty acids, extra-virgin olive oil, avocados, pecan nuts, and organic coconut oil, are also great options?  Some nutritionists profess they are!
  • Quit smoking.  Smoking has failed to show a beneficial effect on the body, but it has been linked to damaging conditions, including an increased risk of dementia.  Subsequently, if you smoke, try your best to stop.  As you undertake this challenge, it is helpful to implement stress-relieving measures like massage, meditation, prayer, and music therapy.  Stress can lead to inflammation, and inflammation is never a good thing.

The data is still uncertain as to whether or not Alzheimer’s disease can be prevented.  However, research seems to suggest that certain practices may reduce the threat.

For additional information concerning this topic, go to http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/dementia/DS01131/DSECTION=prevention

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