12 Steps to Maintain Cognitive Health and Prevent Alzheimer’s
- Take supplements that are good for the brain and cognitive health.
- Provide health nutrients and dietary ingredients that are not available in our diet.
- Target multifactorial causes of Alzheimer’s disease.
- Safe and study were shown to support brain and cognitive health.
Crocin, the only water-soluble carotenoid in nature and potent antioxidant found in saffron, is a new and miraculously discovered nutrient with multiple effects for brain, cognition and overall health. Studies in recent years revealed crocin/saffron improves brain functions and prevents memory and cognitive impairments caused by various risk factors. At least 8 human studies demonstrated treatment with crocin rich saffron alone or in combination with a few other herbs resulted in significant improvements in brain functions and memory/cognition impairments in patients with MCI, Alzheimer’s disease or vascular dementia. Because of its multiple beneficial effects, crocin is believed to be the most promising natural solution for the prevention and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.
- Eat a healthy diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables.
Diet rich in fruits and vegetables provides natural antioxidants and phenolic compounds to fight oxidative radicals and inflammation, which help protect neurons (brain cells) from damages.
- Eat at least five portions of fruit/berry and vegetables a day.
- Eat protein (oily fish, beans, nuts, eggs or meat) at least twice a week.
- Limit sugar intake.
- Drink 6-8 glasses of fluid (water, tea, coffee, etc.) per day
- Spend time with family and friends.
Spending time with family and friends boost one’s mood and reduce stresses. Happy times, frequent familial and social activities help prevent depression. All indirectly helps maintain brain and cognitive health.
- Keep one’s mind active.
Mental exercise increases blood flow into the brain and stimulate brain functions. Even under a reduced number of neuronal connections, stimulating mental activities may improve adaptation to new neuronal networks and maintain cognitive health. Do some mental activities such as:
- Learn a new skill or language or instrument.
- Play board games/cards, video games, solve puzzles or other memory games.
- Read books and listen to music.
- Control type 2 diabetes.
Diabetes, especially type II diabetes, increase the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia. Control blood sugar, eating a healthy diet and exercise help reduce the risk.
- Keep cholesterol and blood pressure at healthy levels.
High cholesterol is linked with plaque forming in artery walls, which causes the arteries to narrow, a condition called atherosclerosis. This, in turn, increases blood pressure. Studies found evidence that older people with higher average blood pressure compared to their peers are also more likely to develop tangles in their brain.
- Maintain healthy body weight.
With increased weight, a person is more likely to develop diabetes, high blood pressure, depression, and vascular disease. These diseases increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Studies linked high fat and high sugar diet to overweight and increased levels of inflammation markers in the brain.
- Exercise regularly.
Regular exercise is good for heart, circulation, body weight and mental health. It’s one of the best ways to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s and other dementia. Easy ways of exercise for the aged person include:
- Get plenty of sleep.
Clinical studies confirmed quality sleep in the night help remove the toxic peptide, beta-amyloid, in the brain. Heighten level of the toxic peptide causes the death of brain cells and forms plaques in the brain, which is the hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease.
- Get help for depression.
Studies found that depressed adults over 50 were more than twice as likely to develop vascular dementia and 65 percent more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease than similarly aged people who weren’t depressed. Treatment of depression may help reduce the risk factor of developing Alzheimer’s and dementia.
- Stop smoking.
There is strong evidence that smoking can increase your risk of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Toxins in cigarette smoke increase oxidative stress and inflammation, which have both been linked to developing of Alzheimer's disease. So quit smoke not just help lung health but also lower risk of getting Alzheimer’s and dementia.
- Avoid drinking a lot of alcohol.
Heavy drinking is a risk factor for the development of Alzheimer's. Excessive alcohol impairs memory and cognition. Recent studies revealed that alcohol may interrupt the body’s natural ability to clear amyloid plaques from the brain. But there is also a large number of studies supporting the idea that low amounts of alcohol can be beneficial. So, it is wise to avoid drinking a lot of alcohol.