Staving off Alzheimers
Posted in the New Canaan Forum
Since: Oct 10
#1 May 22, 2013
Top food sources include sunflower and safflower oil, nuts and seeds (almonds, sunflower seeds, peanuts, hazelnuts) and green vegetables including broccoli and spinach. Make sure to consume green vegetables with a little healthy fat to maximize the absorption of vitamin E.
Go for fish. Getting adequate amounts of poly-unsaturated omega 3 fatty acids found in fish is associated with a lower risk of Alzheimer's disease. DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), which is present in larger amounts in the brain, appears to be particularly important.
Low levels of DHA in the blood have been associated with worsening mental function. Try to eat at least two 4-ounce servings of fish per week. Fatty fish like salmon, tuna, lake trout and sardines are highest in omega 3s. If you don't have access to fresh fish, canned is a good alternative, just look for low sodium options whenever possible.
If you don't eat fish, take a fish oil capsule daily or try out some of the new foods fortified with DHA including soy milk, yogurt and nutrition bars.
Move more. Moderate to heavy exercise can decrease your risk of Alzheimer's by up to 45%. Moderate exercise includes house and yard work, climbing stairs, and sports like bowling and golf. And start early -- exercising in your teens can protect you later in life.
Being fit has been show to decrease brain shrinkage, a common finding in dementia, and may help fight depression, which also commonly occurs in Alzheimer's disease patients. Aim for an hour per day, but every little bit adds up.
Spice things up. India has a much lower incidence of Alzheimer's disease, and many researchers believe it may be due in part to their extensive use of turmeric (a component of curry) in their cooking.
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