Most of us know someone affected by dementia in some way. It's a disease that 850,000 people are living with today. But it's a disease that, thanks to new research, we can try to do something out.
Although we can't control some factors that increase our Alzheimer's risk, like genes, a recent US study has shown that some simple lifestyle tweaks could actually do a great deal to help prevent us developing Alzheimer's. In fact, as little as a change of your regular cuppa and a walk in the fresh air could be the answer. Lovisa Nilsson, a nutritionist for health and fitness app, Lifesum, shares her expert tips on reducing your Alzheimer's risk naturally.
Time for tea
If you're used a builder's brew to wake you up in the morning, try switching to a cup of green tea instead. Studies have shown that the extract in green tea, ECGC, can help slow down the progression of Alzheimer's.
On yer bike
Doing at least 30 minutes of exercise a day is really important for keeping your brain healthy. Any exercise that requires oxygen to produce energy in your body is great for your grey matter so try cycling, jogging or even just walking every day. You could rope in friends to make it more fun too.
People that are obese or overweight have a higher risk of developing Alzheimer's, as the fat narrows the blood vessels in your brain causing cells to die, so staying fit and keeping excess weight off is a key way of lowering your risk.
Do you remember when your mother used to tell you to eat up all your greens? Well, it was sage advice. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, green and leafy vegetables, like kale and broccoli are superfoods for the brain, along with foods that contain a lot of antioxidants, including spinach, beetroots, eggplats and onions.
One study found that people who drank fruit and vegetable juices such as orange, apple, or tomato three times a week were also less likely to develop Alzheimer's disease .
Know your fat facts
A diet that contains healthy fat and is high in omega-3 fatty acids is really important for normal brain development. So try to eat a lot of fatty fish like salmon, herring and tuna at least once a week. Stock up on almonds, walnuts and cashews, which provide these healthy fats, too. You can get the full low-down on good and bad fats here.
A recent study from Chicago found that having a tablespoon of coconut oil twice a day could help boost your brain. This is because coconut oil contains a ketone that our brains use for energy when there isn't enough around, helping keep it healthy.
Spice it up
If you like a curry, we've got great news. Research has shown that curcumin, that you get in a lot of curried foods, can help stop the build-up of harmful components that affect how well our brain works.
- You can find out more about spotting the signs of a memory problem here
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