The onset of Alzheimer’s disease sets the way for an inevitable decline in mental and physical faculties. But what if you could prevent the occurrence of this debilitating condition? Read on for our suggestions of life style changes that can help you in this endeavor.
Intake of a healthy and nutritious diet
It is essential to maintain a balanced mix of various nutrient elements like carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, and minerals in your diet to let your body and brain operate at its best. Concentrate on including fruits and vegetables from across the color spectrum as it provides your body with a variety of antioxidants and vitamins that protect your brain cells. Changing your 3-meal intake per day to 6-7 small meals per day at regular intervals helps in maintaining a steady level of blood glucose in your body resulting in a consistent supply of the same to the brain cells. Avoid refined carbohydrates, trans-fat, and saturated fat present in sugar, white flour, fried foods, processed, and packaged foods. Include more of omega-3 fatty acid in your diet, which is present in fish or fish oil supplements, as it prevents the occurrence of Alzheimer’s disease. The earlier you incorporate these eating habits in your lifestyle, the better it is for your brain.
Practice some mental exercise
Keep stimulating your brain to make it stay active. Do not either your brain go dull or participate only in monotonous activities. Just try to solve a riddle, puzzle, or a numbers game, start learning a new language or take up a new hobby, read newspapers and magazines, or brush up your general awareness. You need to throw a challenge to your brain to keep it young and avoid Alzheimer’s disease from attacking your brain. Particularly, the activity of the brain regarding such mental exercise is highly reduced as we grow older, so it is better to find out ways to keep your brain active even in later years of your life.
Keep yourself physically active
Studies have revealed that the risk of such brain disorders like Alzheimer’s disease can be reduced by almost 50 percent if one exercises regularly. A study shows that 21 percent of the Alzheimer’s cases in the US are due to low physical activity. A 30 minute exercise session daily helps in raising your heart rate considerably which increases the flow of blood to the various parts of your body, including your brain, thereby supplying more oxygen to the brain cells. To begin with, shun the elevator for the stairs up to your office or just try a walk to purchase your groceries. Then, add a few minutes of light exercises like swimming, brisk walking, or cycling to your daily routine. Do consult your fitness expert and doctor before taking up any strenuous exercise.
A deep and relaxing sleep of 7-8 hours is required to provide the much needed break to your body and brain. A sound sleep nurtures the processes of brain and allows it to function properly, maintaining its ability to store and recall information, and think and solve problems efficiently. Besides, it is considered that lack of sleep can stimulate the development of toxic plaques that leads to hastening the process of Alzheimer’s disease. For a proper sleep, don’t take your work problems to bed, try to have a warm water bath or just read your favorite novel to relax yourself before you go to bed.
Manage your stress levels
Prolonged stress level plays a crucial role in the contraction of an important part of the brain called hippocampus that is concerned with our memory and impairs the growth of the nerve cells. Further, stress is the cause of many chronic disorders like hypertension which in turn further contribute towards the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. Therefore, it is advisable that you should try to keep your stress levels under control. For the same, indulge in some relaxation exercises, devote some time for your hobbies, take a soothing walk, or just listen to some calm music.
Stay socially active
Staying in touch with people around you significantly affects the activity level of the brain. It prevents the brain from becoming dull and hence, reduces the chances of Alzheimer’s disease. Generally, social isolation increases as one grows older or is triggered due to certain psychological factors like depression. Hence, joining a club, visiting a friend, making a call or start attending a group class makes you feel connected and keep your brains ticking.
Avoid smoking and drinking
Cut down on your smoking and drinking since both affect your health adversely. A recent research conducted by the University of California, San Francisco revealed the fact that 14 percent of the worldwide cases of Alzheimer’s disease are attributed to smoking. An excessive intake of alcohol damages the cells of your vital organs including your brain. Similarly, smoking impairs your brain cells. Though, it is very difficult to quit these habits altogether, you can try to limit these habits to begin with. The good news here is that it has been observed that a mild intake of red wine is beneficial in preventing Alzheimer’s disease.
Treatment of medical conditions
Suffering from medical problems like high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, or insomnia may lead to a decline in the functioning of the brain. In fact, hypertension alone contributes to 8 percent of Alzheimer’s patients in the US, while obesity and diabetes are the culprits in 7 and 3 percent cases respectively. However, studies reveal that controlling such ailments can reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s by nearly 20 percent. Therefore, consult your doctor regularly, take the prescribed drugs as and when required, maintain a healthy routine and control such medical problems to avoid Alzheimer’s disease.