The prospect of dementia or Alzheimer’s is daunting, with as many as 3 million cases recognized each year. And although a decrease in certain faculties is inevitable as we age, there are certain measures we can take to slow or even stop the dementia train from derailing our lives.
Here are a few things to do, and not to do, to reduce the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s as we age:
Do this: Incorporate healthy fats into our diets.
Healthy fats are packed with good fatty acids that promote brain function and improve blood flow. Eating foods rich in monounsaturated fats and fatty acids, like those found in nuts, fruits, and legumes, help maintain a healthy mind.
Not that: Eat foods high in saturated fats.
Saturated fats are the type of fats that become solid at room temperature, as they are more “saturated” in hydrogen atoms. These fats are responsible for LDL cholesterol (the bad kind), and are considered the “fats that drain the brain,” with regard to Alzheimer’s and dementia. Foods high in saturated fats include fatty beef, pork, processed meats, and especially, dairy.
Do this: Consume unsynthesized sources of Vitamin E.
Vitamin E, found naturally in mangoes, nuts, seeds, and fish is responsible for clearing our bodies of free radicals, or the unstable molecules responsible for damaging living cells and tissues through the process of “oxidative stress.” By adding something as simple as a handful of vitamin E-packed nuts into our diets daily, we can reduce the risk of dementia by up to 50 percent.
Not that: Consume Vitamin E in a multivitamin.
Vitamin E should not be taken in a multivitamin, as Vitamin E is available to our bodies in many forms. When just one form of vitamin E is consumed, like in a multivitamin, the other crucial forms of vitamin E, and their critical absorption are blocked.
Do this: Exercise at least three times per week.
Exercising for 40 minutes three times per week can reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s by up to 30 percent, even if the APO e4 gene is present.