Want to protect yourself from Alzheimer’s disease? Our brain health guide will help you improve cognitive function and prevent decline.
If you want to stay Alzheimer’s free, our Brain Health Guide can help. The brain guide is packed with info that will help you avoid cognitive impairment so you can lead your best life.
Improving your brain doesn’t involve a drug cocktail or excessive physical activity. Everything you’ll read in our brain guide refers to a holistic approach to maintaining and improving cognitive function.
Click the Brain Guide below to get started! Or keep scrolling for some highlights.
What Diseases Affect the Brain?
Did you know that brain diseases affect 1 in 6 people globally? These include:
- Alzheimer’s Disease
- Disease Dementia
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Movement Disorders
- Sleep Disorders
Neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease result in the decline of the function and number of nerve cells in the nervous system.
In recent years, the term “Type 3 diabetes” has been used to refer to Alzheimer’s disease, since the neurodegenerative disease is linked to insulin resistance, which is the hallmark of Type 2 diabetes, in the brain.
Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder that is the most common cause of dementia.
The disease typically affects people over the age of 65, although it can also occur in younger individuals in less common early-onset forms.
Causes of Alzheimer’s Disease
- Genetics: Certain genes are associated with an increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s, such as the APOE ε4 allele.
- Age: The risk increases with age, particularly after 65.
- Family History: A family history of Alzheimer’s can increase one’s risk.
- Head Injuries: Serious head injuries have been linked to future Alzheimer’s risk.
- Lifestyle Factors: Cardiovascular health factors like hypertension, diabetes, and high cholesterol might contribute to Alzheimer’s risk.
Symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease
- Memory Loss: Difficulty remembering recent events or conversations.
- Disorientation: Getting lost in familiar places.
- Difficulty with Routine Tasks: Trouble managing finances or following recipes.
- Language Problems: Struggling to find the right words.
- Personality Changes: Becoming withdrawn, depressed, or anxious.
Six Pillars of Brain Health
Want a healthy brain? Follow the six pillars:
- Stress Reduction
- Sleep and Relaxation
- Medications and Supplements
- Food and Nutrition
- Vitamin D: There are vitamin D receptors are present in the brain, suggesting it plays a role in brain health. Some studies have linked vitamin D deficiency to an increased risk of cognitive decline and dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease.
- Magnesium: Magnesium taurate and magnesium L-threonate significantly increase magnesium levels in brain cells; hence they are used in the treatment of depression and Alzheimer’s disease.
- Melatonin: Cushions the brain from the effects of “stress” hormones – such as epinephrine, cortisol, and norepinephrine – which can impair memory. It also increases levels of a protein known as a brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which increases the formation of neurons.
- Resveratrol: This antioxidant is found in the skin of purple and red fruits like grapes and berries, red wine, and peanuts. It may help protect the brain by preventing the deterioration of the hippocampus.
- Curcumin: Shown to accelerate adult hippocampus neurogenesis b yaugmenting the density of newly formed cells in the dentate gyrus areas of the brain. Curcumin’s cognitive benefits may stem from its anti-inflammatory and/or anti-amyloid brain effects.
Brain-Healthy Lifestyle Choices
There are several things you can do to improve your brain health:
- Quit smoking
- Stop or reduce alcohol intake
- Regular exercise
- Check your hearing
- Prevent and manage high blood pressure
- Reduce/ maintain healthy weight to reduce risks of metabolic syndrome and insulin resistance
Time Restricted Eating and Nutritious Diet
One of the hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease is disruption to the body’s circadian rhythm. Nearly 80% of people with Alzheimer’s experience these issues, including difficulty sleeping and worsening cognitive function at night.
In a recent study, mice that were fed on a time-restricted schedule showed improvements in memory and reduced accumulation of amyloid proteins in the brain.
A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins (like the Mediterranean diet) provides essential nutrients for brain health. Omega-3 fatty acids (found in fish) are particularly important for maintaining brain cell health. Antioxidants from fruits and vegetables combat oxidative stress, which can damage brain cells.
Regular Physical Exercise and Stress Management
Exercise, particularly resistance training, is essential for maintaining muscle strength. Walking is an effective form of exercise. A recent study indicates that even a modest daily step count of around 3,800 steps can lower the risk of dementia by 25%.
Increasing the number of steps and intensity further enhances this benefit. Walking could be considered one of the most beneficial exercises for health and longevity.
Regular exercise boosts blood flow to the brain, potentially improving cognitive functions. It stimulates neurotrophins production, which supports neuron growth and survival. Aerobic exercises, in particular, are linked to a lower risk of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s.
Chronic stress can lead to shrinkage in a key memory area of the brain, hinder growth of nerve cells, and increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
A daily meditation practice in the form of mindfulness, yoga, Tai-Chi, Qigong, and/or breathing exercises has been proven to reduce stress and increase quality of life.
Social Interactions and Mental Stimulation
Regular social interaction helps to prevent depression and stress, both of which can contribute to memory loss. Social activities can also stimulate the brain through conversation and emotional connections.
Engaging in mentally stimulating activities (like puzzles, reading, or learning new skills) helps to build cognitive reserve. This can keep the brain active and may delay the onset of cognitive decline.
We hope you’ve enjoyed learning about all the ways you can improve your brain health! Don’t worry, there’s more where that came from. Check out these other brainy resources for a powerful mind: