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Natural Ways To Protect The Brain

The Alzheimer's Associations website states that in 2008, every 71 seconds someone in the United States develops Alzheimer's.  It continues by saying that 5 million people are already living with the disease.  The enormous growth of this disease should give us reason to pause, especially since it is the sixth leading cause of deaths in the US.  Is there anything that can be done about these statistics?

The most common form of alzheimers is dementia.  Dementia is defined as a loss or decline in memory and other cognitive abilities that is severe enough to interfere with daily life.  On a scientific level, Alzheimer's disease can be recognized by deposits of the protein fragment in the brain (more commonly known as "plaques") along with twisted strands of the protein known as tangles.  The cause of this plaque and formation of the tangles as well as the advanced brain shrinkage is relatively unknown.  However, there have been multiple studies done that indicate ways of protecting the brain from this disease.

  • Add more fruits and vegetables to your diet.  Remember the           3 +2=5 blog post?  Three vegetables and 2 fruits every day.
  • Live a healthy lifestyle.  This includes all the regulars...nothing new.  Exercise, avoid smoking, excessive alcohol, and appropriate height/weight ratio.
  • Get moving.  You've heard me stress this over and over.  The body was meant to move.  Studies show adults who walked 45 minutes a day three times a week at a brisk pace for six months had significantly improved brain function over their more sedentary counter parts.
  • Stimulate your brain.  The Mayo Clinic reported in one of their studies, "Some researchers believe that lifelong mental exercise and learning may promote the growth of additional synapses, the connections between neurons, and delay the onset of dementia."  So visit friends, play cards or games, or put puzzles together.
  • De-stress your life and have a positive attitude.  Remember, your attitude is a choice....choose to be positive and happy.  According to the Center for Healthy Minds, elderly people who experience a lot of psychological distress (worrying, feeling insecure or nervous) are more likely to show signs of mental decline.
  • Minimize your electro-magnetic exposure as much as possible.  A major new study based on nearly 5 million people in Switzerland found that those who live within 50 meters (approximately 165 feet) of a power line more than double their risk of Alzheimer's and other neuro-degenerative disease, compared with those who live at least 600 (.37 miles) meters away.  However, keep in mind these were very high powered lines.  Just as important is not wearing a cell phone attached to your body or sleeping with it near your head.

As you can see, none of these suggestions are new but are sound advice on how to live a healthy life.  The more of the population that returns to these lifestyle choices the more likely we will not only lower the stats on Alzheimer but on diabetes, heart disease and numerous other diseases.

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