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June 22, 2019

3 Easy Lifestyle Tweaks to Reduce Your Alzheimer’s Risk

Joyce Knestrick, PhD, CRNP, FAANP

Alzheimer’s Disease is the most common form of dementia, and it affects nearly 6 million Americans. While the causes of Alzheimer’s are not fully understood, we know there is a genetic component that typically works alongside lifestyle factors. Since we can’t tweak our genes, lifestyle is your best offense in beating Alzheimer’s, and these 3 factors are proving to be the most compelling for your brain:

  1. Exercise. Exercise boosts blood flow and oxygen to the brain, and there’s convincing evidence that regular movement helps prevent or slow the progression of Alzheimer’s symptoms.
  2. Diet. New research shows that a Mediterranean diet rich in fruits, leafy greens, whole grains, nuts, fish and berries can reduce cognitive decline by as much as 35%.
  3. Sleep. Studies show that a lack of sleep increases the buildup of protein on the brain that has been linked to Alzheimer’s, so shoot for at least 7 hours, and preferably more.

Many people feel helpless when it comes to reducing their Alzheimer’s risk, but making simple lifestyle changes can make a difference, so break a sweat, eat like you live in the Mediterranean and turn in to bed a little earlier each night to protect your brain health!