As you grow older there are a number of health issues which become prevalent. One of the worst, for both the sufferer and family is Alzheimer’s. Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia, which is a term that covers a range of degenerate brain disorders.
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Symptoms of Alzheimer’s includes memory loss, difficulty with communicating and general poor understanding of situations. In the later stages of Alzheimer’s symptoms grow to include incontinence, struggling to walk and losing the ability to eat and drink.
Those with Alzheimer’s lose vital brain chemicals as their brain cells begin to die. Over a varying degree of time the damage to the brain worsens until the sufferer has to be looked after either by a relative or in a nursing home.
However Alzheimer’s is not an inevitability. Even if you have had several members of family suffer from Alzheimer’s you don’t have to worry. Only 1% of Alzheimer’s cases are caused by genes. That means that, in most cases, Alzheimer’s can be prevented with a healthy lifestyle which includes following the 7 steps below.
1. Check Your Homocysteine Levels
Homocysteine is an amino acid which is the primary risk factor in Alzheimer’s as well as strokes and heart attacks. Homocysteine itself is not the problem but it needs vitamin B to convert it into substances the body can use for a healthy brain and immune system. The test may be administered by you local doctor or you can order one online from http://www.diazyme.com/. Anything under 7 is considered a good score, the higher the score the higher the risk of Alzheimer’s. If you score over 15 you have a raised risk of Alzheimer’s
2. Take Vitamin B
By eating a variety of food full of vitamin B you can keep your homocysteine levels low. Foods that contain vitamin B include potatoes, bananas, tuna, beans, turkey and any leafy green vegetable. To supplement this you could also take a multivitamin.
3. Eat Oily Fish or Take Cod Liver Oil
The omega-3 fats found in oily fish can diminish the brain swelling that is associated with Alzheimer’s that harms brain cells. Try and eat two portions of oily fish (salmon, mackerel, sardines, etc) a week and take cod liver oil once a day.
4. Eat “Smart Fats“.
Eggs contain phospholipids which is a “smart fat“. Phospholipids are a major component of all the biological membranes, including the brain.
5. Boost Anti-Oxidants
Another symptom of Alzheimer’s is an increase in free radicals. Free radicals are unstable molecules which can harm brain cells, they also make it harder for B vitamins to convert homocysteine into useful substances. By eating plenty of fruits and vegetables you can increase your anti-oxidants and neutralise the free radicals.
6. Keep Your Brain Active
Your body is constantly producing new cells, and this includes brain cells. So when you banged your head when you were young and your mother scolded you, saying you’d kill your brain cells, she needn’t have worried too much. By keeping mentally active you can maintain regular brain functions throughout your entire life. Try to do activities such as reading, crosswords, card games, board games and even a night class to keep your mind sharp and focused.
7. Keep Fit
Healthy mind and a healthy body. One’s no good without the other for a full life so try to get regular exercise to reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s. Exercise reduces stress and boosts blood and oxygen flow to the brain. You don’t have to become the next Arnold Schwarzenegger, just 30 minutes a day is all you need. Take your dog for a walk, go for a bike ride, play football with you children. Get active and stay active.
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