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How to Obtain a Healthy Brain

27 Mar

The United States is “An Aging Nation”.  By 2030, “the population is expected to grow at a slower pace, age considerably and become more racially and ethnically diverse” according to the United States Census Bureau. This raises many questions on how to prevent dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. The statistics show that Alzheimer’s is the 6th leading cause of death in the United States and, 1 in 10 Americans over the age of 65 have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.

Studies have shown that there is not cure for Alzheimer’s disease, however changing some lifestyles may help in the prevention of Alzheimer’s and many other chronic diseases. Here are some examples you can apply in your own life:

  1. Healthy Diet
  • Replace saturated fat from whole milk, beef, chicken with skin, pork, ice cream, cheese, with less saturated fats such as 1% or fat free milk, lean cuts of meats and low fat ice cream and cheese.
  • Increase intake of Omega-3 fatty acids, seen in cold water fish (salmon, tuna, sardines, etc) about two times per week.
  • Increase intake of antioxidant-rich foods, such as vegetables, fruits and whole grains. Have about 3.5 to 5 servings per day of fruits and vegetables.
  1. Maintain a healthy weight
  • Do not participate in crash diets. The best way to maintain a healthy weight is through a well-balanced diet and consistent physical activity.
  • Consult with your healthcare provider on what a healthy weight range would be for you, as an individual.  brain
  1. Control your blood pressure
  • Take your blood pressure medication
  • Consume less sodium and control your cholesterol
  • Exercise at least 30 min/day five times per week
  • Don’t smoke
  1. Expose your brain to new, complex and enriching environment
  • Remain socially active
  • Try new activities, such as dancing, gardening, etc.
  • Use both sides of your body more often
  • Travel
  1. Remember to relax and have healthy ways of distressing
  • Don’t be afraid to say “no”
  • Develop time for yourself daily

Start today, pick one habit that is most relevant to your own life and work on making changes now. There is not one way to be healthy, but it does take effort to build a healthy lifestyle and maintain it.

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