November is National Alzheimer’s Disease Month so before we gear up into December, let’s take a quick but important overview of this disease (and dementia) which, according to 2016 statistics, affects 44 million people worldwide. In the U.S. alone, 1 in 9 Americans over the age of 65 has Alzheimer’s disease. And, with baby boomers getting older, that number is rising. In the next 35 years or so the projection for Alzheimer’s cases in the U.S. will go from 5 to 14 million.
Yes, those numbers are alarming but, there is some good news. It’s never too late to begin implementing a few easy habits into our daily lives to stack the odds in our favor. Here are a few simple ones you can start including in your day:
Cook with coconut oil… it energizes your brain cells and is really good for your overall health. Use it instead of butter or vegetable oil.
Eat plenty of “Anti” foods… Nuts, berries, vegetables, fish, olive oil, wine and curcumins are rich in antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory properties. Try to keep a supply of readily-cut veggies in your refrigerator and stock up your kitchen pantry with a varied selection of nuts.
Give your brain a workout… by reading more, doing crosswords and trying a new creative activity such as painting, sculpting or drawing. Even playing board games is very beneficial.
“B” good to yourself… by taking a supplement that is rich in B vitamins. This can help increase gray matter and also helps keep you energized all day long.
Move your body… just 15-30 minutes of exercise, even walking, 3 times a week has been shown to reduce the risk of developing brain-related diseases.
Socialize more… studies have shown that interacting with others can go a long way to keeping our brains active and alert. Plan activities or get-togethers with friends and family. Sign up for a new activity or workshop to meet up with like-minded new friends.
When it comes to Alzheimer’s disease and other age-related diseases such as dementia, it’s imperative to be proactive and take our health into our own hands. Implementing the simple lifestyle, diet and activity habits listed above, will get you on track for an Alzheimer’s disease-free future and years of quality living so that you can experience all of the joys life has to offer. Here’s to your brain health!