Although scientists haven't managed to find a way to prevent Alzheimer's disease, there are some steps that you can take to limit your risk. Many of these are similar to the steps recommended to stay healthy in general as you age, so following the recommendations will likely have a variety of different health benefits. No one recommendation is likely to prevent Alzheimer's on its own, the key is to combine them into a healthy lifestyle.
Follow a Healthy Diet
Following the right diet may help limit Alzheimer's risk by as much as 35 percent. This can mean different things to different people, but the general idea is to eat less sugar and refined carbohydrates, such as white bread, and more fruits and vegetables. Stay away from the trans fats found in any food containing partially hydrogenated oils, and eat plenty of seafood or take fish oil supplements. A Mediterranean diet, which focuses more on eating vegetables, fish, olive oil, nuts, whole grains, a small amount of poultry and perhaps a little wine or grape juice and dark chocolate, may also be helpful. Just keep in mind that moderation is key, because drinking too much alcohol can increase Alzheimer's risk. Tea and coffee may both have some benefits as well, and some evidence shows that berries and folic acid supplements may be beneficial for limiting the risk of dementia. Other foods to limit include butter and margarine, fried food, red meat, cheese and sweets.
Keep Your Brain Active
Keeping mentally active may also stave off the onset of Alzheimer's disease, as it helps to develop new pathways in your brain. No special apps or games are necessary for this' it can be as simple as taking a class to learn something new, doing puzzles, playing board games, listening to the radio, reading newspapers, dancing, or visiting museums. Take up knitting, learn a new language, or study cake decorating—just pick something that you're interested in. Even something like changing up your routines can help. Use your other hand, take a different way to work, rearrange your typical schedule, or rearrange the furniture. Anything that makes you have to think a bit more as you go about your day.
Get Your Exercise
The goal is to do some type of moderate exercise for at least 150 minutes a week, as this cuts the risk of Alzheimer's by up to half. It's also a good idea to do some type of strength training exercises to help build muscle, as well as some exercises that help with coordination and balance. Just stay away from sports that may be more likely to involve head trauma, as this can increase dementia risk. Exercise can help you maintain a healthy weight and decrease stress levels, both of which also lower Alzheimer's risk. Exercise increases blood flow to the brain, which can help improve its function and be helpful for people even after they start to suffer from Alzheimer's symptoms, at least in the earlier stages of the disease.
For more information, contact assisted living and medical facilities, such as Alta Ridge Communities.