More strategies for preventing Alzheimer’s
Relaxation exercises reduce stress
Research shows that stress, bad news, family arguments, or unexpected work demands can increase memory lapses.† But, you can protect yourself.† In a Harvard study, people who used relaxation exercises for 20 minutes a day saw their attention and responsiveness improve significantly in just five weeks.
If relaxation exercise sounds like an oxymoron itís because you donít usually think of relaxation and exercise at the same time.† Relaxation exercises mean specific relaxation behaviors.† They include progressive relaxation, meditation, yoga, deep breathing, tai chi, etc.
Rosemary is an herb.† Centuries ago, people thought rosemary would help keep their brains sharp and their memories clear.† While there has been no research done there is quite a bit of thinking that it works.† If nothing else,†itís a tasty herb to add to your daily diet.† Your family might think youíre pretty smart and like the taste.
Stimulate your brain by interacting with friends and family, visiting neighbors, joining clubs, doing volunteer work and going to church, helps you hold on to mental abilities.† It seems that social interaction is healthy for your brain because it is a human way to keep your brain functioning well.
Stay slim to stay sharp
Excess weight could be sapping your brain power.† French researchers measured the body mass index (BMI Ė a measurement of weight in relation to height) of more than 2,000 middle-aged healthy volunteers and then tested their memory.† Those participants who averaged a BMI of 20 could remember 9 to 16 words on the test, but those who averaged a BMI of 30 could only recall 7 words.
When they were tested 5 years later, the heavier group had lost more memory than the slimmer group.† You can calculate your BMI by logging on to www.prevention.com/bmicalculator.
Kaiser Permanente health plan followed 6,000 members for 36 years, and they found the risk of dementia was triple for those who had larger bellies in middle age.† One reason is that a big waist can boost insulin, which may keep enzymes from breaking down Alzheimerís plaque.
Trim the fat
A study showed that your risk of developing Alzheimerís is seven times higher if you eat a high-fat diet, rather than a low-fat diet.
Hardly anyone gets Alzheimerís in India.† Scientists now think they know the answer.† People in India eat a diet rich in turmeric, the spice that gives curry its yellow color.† Studies show that turmeric is rich in curcumin, a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory.† It reduces brain inflammation and prevents free radicals from damaging your brain tissue.
Curcumin prevents the spread of amyloid protein plaques, which are thought to cause dementia. Amyloid plaques, along with tangles of nerve fibers, contribute to the degradation of the wiring in brain cells.
There is evidence that people who eat a curry meal two or three times a week have a lower risk of dementia. Researchers are currently testing the impact of higher doses, such as the equivalent of going on a curry spree for a week, to see if they can maximize the effect.
You can buy curcumin as a spice in a health food store, by itself or as an ingredient turmeric or curry.† Try an ounce a day.
An article in the Journal of Neuroscience reveals a protective effect of nicotinamide, otherwise known as niacinamide which is part of the vitamin B group.† Tests were done on mice.† The end result was those who received nicotinamide performed mentally at the same level as normal mice, while untreated mice demonstrated memory loss.
Nicotinamide is different from nicotinic cid and niacin.† As such, nicotinamide has not been shown to produce the flushing, itching and burning sensations of the skin as is commonly seen when large doses of nicotinic acid or niacin are administered orally.
To read about the Alzheimer Societyís reaction to the study, click here.
In a recent research study, the most active in the study group got about an hour and a half of exercise weekly. That’s just a few 30-minute walks a week — a pretty manageable commitment. Better yet, aim to walk 30 minutes every day.
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