Monday, November 21, 2016
These simple lifestyle changes can prevent or slow Alzheimer’s
The movie ‘The Notebook’, depicts a couple grappling with Alzheimer’s.
An estimated 5.4 million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease in 2016, 5.2 million of them are age 65 or older. The disease will escalate as baby boomers get older, with a projected 13.8 million afflicted by 2050.
Alzheimer’s is a type of dementia that causes problems with memory, thinking, and behavior. As a scientist who works to better understand this and other neurodegenerative disorders, I know the personal toll these incurable diseases take on families.
But there is good news not only in current research for a cure, but also in the fact that Americans can do a lot to prevent or at least slow the onset of Alzheimer’s.
Before World War II, dementia and Alzheimer’s were less prevalent. Since then, antibiotics and chemotherapy have caused lifespans to increase significantly. But although we are living longer, we also spending much more time sitting compared to our ancestors, as we predominately work at desks. We also are not getting enough exercise, and generally, not eating well.
While aging eventually can lead to Alzheimer’s, studies have proven that exercise and diet, in that order, can potently protect you against developing this devastating disease. Since November is National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month, here are some tips for anyone at any age. The research is conclusive that these simple lifestyle changes have a huge benefit, and that it’s never too late to start:
So metabolize those calories by being sure to walk around every hour. Devices like FitBits FIT, -0.79% which prompt you to move after periods of being sedentary, are good for reminding you to move, and can also help motivate you to get in enough movement throughout the day.
Eating a wide variety of antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes and nuts, and replacing butter with healthy olive oil are key. Importantly, limit red meat intake to no more than one or two servings a month, and shift protein sources to those of poultry, fish, and plant-based options, such as beans and nuts. Reserve red meat (beef and pork) for special occasions.
Story Source: The above story is based on materials provided by MARKETWATCH
Note: Materials may be edited for content and length