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Any loss of mental ability that is severe enough to interfere with your daily living activities is defined as Dementia. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia in older people. Brain cells gradually die when you have this mental disorder and the generation of the chemical signals that help you function begins to deteriorate.
Many factors play a role in escalating a person’s chance of developing Alzheimer’s disease; among them being lifestyle choices. Lifelong practices including poor diet, harmful habits, the lack of exercise, and various other factors, contribute to the development of this disease. Of course genetics also plays a role, however this factor we cannot control.
Alzheimer’s is one of many diseases that is feared most, and unfortunately, more and more people are being diagnosed with it every year. The latest research however, shows that you can significantly lower your risk of this disease. Using the 5 steps below as a guideline, can help reduce your risk of succumbing to the effects of Alzheimer’s.
1. Eat fruits and vegetables
According to a study done by researchers at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, a diet plan they developed- appropriately called the MIND diet- may reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease by as much as 53 percent. Berries and green leafy and cruciferous vegetables were among the recommended foods to eat. The individuals that consumed fruits and vegetables, were the ones who experienced a lower rate of cognitive decline compared to those who did not. This is due to the rich antioxidant content of fruits and vegetables which are essential for the maintenance of a healthy brain.
2. Continue to be Socially Active
When a person spends long periods of time isolated from society, they often experience emotional stress from not socializing with others, which increases the risk of Alzheimer’s. Research has indicated that the effects of Alzheimer’s are dramatically less severe in those who are socially active, especially when combined with physical and mental activity.
3. Keep a healthy body weight
According to research, overweight people in their 40’s have a greater risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease later in life. It also shows that diabetes, which is linked to obesity, increases the risk as it may be a result of high blood sugar or high cholesterol.
4. Regulate Chronic Diseases
To avoid the degenerative effects that bring on the familiar symptoms of diminishing mental alertness, it is vital to keep problems like elevated cholesterol levels and high blood pressure under control. If these health issues are not adequately regulated throughout life, it can escalate the risk of developing the dreaded symptoms of brain deterioration in later years.
5. Exercise your Brain
Learning new information and engaging in mental exercises like memory games and writing not only help repair and boost existing brain circuits but also create new ones.
So while the answer to the question “Can I avoid Alzheimer’s disease?” is still unfortunately “no, not entirely”, there are some ways that to reduce your risk. A general healthy lifestyle and maintaining mental fitness appear to be our best bet in reducing our risk for Alzheimer’s disease.