5.4 million people currently have Alzheimer’s disease1, and this number is estimated to rise to an astounding 16 million by 20502. The price tag of health care for Alzheimer’s patients is currently $183 billion per year – and this number is projected to reach over $1 trillion by 2050. The Alzheimer’s epidemic is tragic; both because of the many lives that will be adversely affected by this horribly debilitating disease as well as the extreme cost burden that will ultimately bankrupt our health care system.
What most people don’t realize is that Alzheimer’s disease may be preventable.
It is not good luck or good genetics that allows an individual to escape the disease. Regardless of the genes you were given, you may be able to affect your gene expression (called “epigenetics”) with your health habits. The key is keeping the brain strong and healthy with simple health choices.
Here are five important steps you can do to help lower your chances of developing Alzheimer’s disease:
- Engage in daily physical exercise, including cardiovascular training and weightlifting/resistance training to your ability. Walking is a good start but not enough. Challenge your brain by trying different exercise programs and classes. Always talk to your doctor before you start any exercise regimen.
Eat a clean diet with plenty of vegetables, some fruit, organic omega-3 eggs, and lean healthy meats (no red meat) such as organic chicken, organic turkey, and fatty fish (non-farmed salmon, mackerel, herring, sardines, anchovies). Vegetables and meat should be organic and local whenever possible. One tasty, quick way for you and your family to enjoy vegetables is to roast them in the oven. Mix cut veggies in a large bowl with olive oil and spices; bake at 350 degrees on a cookie sheet to desired tenderness (20-30 minutes ) Make extra for leftovers – they are great cold! Google “roasted vegetable recipes” for more ideas.
- Take supplements including high-quality fish oil, antioxidants which contain appropriate doses of B-complex vitamins, vitamin D, alpha-lipoic acid and CoQ-10. A good quality multivitamin and some probiotics are also recommended. See the fish oil and vitamin D articles in newsletters on my website for more information.
Go to a chiropractor for wellness and maintenance care. Like dentistry, chiropractic works best for prevention and wellness. Chiropractic treatments (called adjustments) stimulate nerve endings in your spinal joints and tissues which activate the brain, and may help keep your brain and body working better.
- Engage in mentally challenging activities, such as taking up a musical instrument, puzzles and word games, learning a new language, attending adult classes, and reading thought provoking literature.