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A Healthy Brain and Body Can Help Prevent Alzheimer's Disease

- Friday, January 13, 2012

Right now there is no way to prevent Alzheimer's disease. The health of the body and brain depends on both lifestyle factors that are within your control.  It also depends on genetic factors.  However, new research reveals that lifestyle factors play an even more significant role in protecting the brain as we age.

In fact, a brain-healthy lifestyle, including regular exercise and a heart-healthy diet are critical elements for Alzheimer’s prevention.

Regular physical exercise reduces the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease by 50%. Regular exercise can also slow deterioration in those who have already started to develop cognitive problems. Try for at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise five or more times per week.

Additionally, moderate levels of weight training increase muscle mass and help maintain brain health. Combining aerobics and strength training is much better than either activity alone.

Falls and the resulting head injuries are more likely as people age, which increases the risk for Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, balance and coordination exercises like yoga and Tai Chi can help with agility and fall prevention.

Maintaining a healthy diet is important in preventing Alzheimer’s disease. A heart- and brain-healthy diet that is rich in fish, nuts, whole grains, olive oil, and lots fresh produce.

Evidence suggests that omega-3 fatty acids, such as those found in cold-water fish such as salmon, tuna, trout and sardines may help prevent Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Fish oil supplements are also a good source for omega-3s. In addition, it’s best to reduce consumption of full-fat dairy products, red meat, fast food, fried foods, and both packaged and processed foods.

Original article - Empowerher