Alzheimer’s Disease : Reduce Your Risk With These Tips
According to The Alzheimer’s Association, 5.7 million Americans are currently living with Alzheimer’s disease and this number is set to rise to 16 million by 2050 (1). Aside from a large number of Americans affected, over 50 million people worldwide are also battling with Alzheimer’s. That being said, it is important to find ways in which to protect ourselves.
Improving your lifestyle to avoid Alzheimer’s
Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive, unchangeable disease, thus early detection is of paramount importance. While there is still no cure, there are other ways in which one can lower their risk for Alzheimer’s.
Read on for eight scientifically-proven daily habits you can adopt, to keep your brain healthy and sharp.
Adopt the Mediterranean diet
The Mediterranean diet is credited as one of the world’s healthiest diets. It seems that by adhering to it, you could lower your risk for Alzheimer’s.
One feature of the Mediterranean diet is its high quality of omega-3 fatty acids. These fatty acids have been linked to combating the risk for diabetes, high cholesterol, obesity, and cardiovascular diseases. For diabetics, the risk of Alzheimer’s is multiplied. Therefore, consuming a diet that helps to maintain blood sugar will help in keeping away the development of Alzheimer’s.
Create social connections
It seems that social connections could also reduce your risk for Alzheimer’s.
One 2017 study found a correlation between an active social life and a lower risk for cognitive decline. That being said, be sure to keep in touch with your friends and family. You can even try joining a club or community group.
Exercising also helps to keep weight off, and this can also help in lowering your Alzheimer’s risk as studies have revealed a link between obesity and Alzheimer’s (2).
It is advisable to do at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercises, three to four days a week. Aerobic exercises include hiking, running, cardio, dancing, kickboxing, and swimming, Not sure where to start? Try these fun beginner workouts you can do on the couch.
Get enough quality sleep
Not getting enough quality sleep can be quite detrimental to your health.
Aside from leaving you fatigued and stressed, lack of sleep also increases the amount of beta-amyloid – the protein linked to the development of Alzheimer’s (3). Thus, it is important to get at least seven to nine hours of quality sleep a night. If you’re having trouble dozing off, try decorating your room with these sleep-inducing, bedroom plants.
Get your ears checked
Another reason as to why you need to regularly visit your doctor.
A study published in The Lancet revealed how untreated hearing loss could actually increase your risk for Alzheimer’s. Some surprising causes of hearing loss include loud music, prescribed medication, high fevers and blood-related conditions like diabetes.
Have a glass – just one
A glass of red wine a day has been linked to plenty of health benefits and it seems that preventing cognitive decline is one of them.
Red wine is rich in resveratrol and this compound has been credited as the source of red wine’s benefits. Research has revealed a link between the moderate consumption of red wine and lower levels of Alzheimer’s-associated toxins in the brain.
Keep exercising your brain
You’re never too old to learn something new, especially if it protects you from a neurodegenerative disease. According to the New England Journal of Medicine, engaging in mental activities such as reading and board games helps to lower your risk for Alzheimer’s (4).
Aside from reading and board games, you can keep your brain healthy and active by doing crossword puzzles, jigsaw puzzles or learning a new language.
Practice stress management
Stress is a common staple in our lives yet chronic stress can cause a lot of health problems, including cognitive decline (5).
In order to protect your brain health, it is important to learn healthy stress management techniques. Yoga and meditation are great stress-relieving techniques and studies have shown their ability to protect brain health by reducing cognitive decline (6).
Other ways to relieve stress include exercising, laughing, spending time with friends and family as well as listening to music.
As if you needed any more reason to kick this habit. In 2014, the World Health Organization revealed that smokers have a 45% higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease than nonsmokers (7).
Aside from developing a neurodegenerative disease, smoking can also cause you to age rapidly and increase the risk for lung disease, type 2 diabetes, and stroke.
Want To Know More?
Centenarians are people who reach the age of 100+ years old and they are quite rare. According to one study, children of centenarians cognitively age better compared to older adults without familial longevity. Click here for more on the study.