Which part of getting old freaks you out the most? Is it the wrinkles? Is it not having the energy or physique to cope with an active lifestyle? Or, is it the possibility of slowly losing your mental faculties?
Alzheimer’s disease, one of the leading causes of death in the U.S., is a progressive condition characterized by the degeneration of healthy brain tissues, resulting in problems with behavior, memory and other mental abilities.
You can expect small changes in terms of your memory as you age but Alzheimer’s symptoms start slow and mild, become more severe, and ultimately start interfering with daily activities. The signs of Alzheimer’s disease include:
• Progressive memory loss, especially forgetting recently learned information
• Behavioral, mood and personality changes
• Difficulty finding the right words and performing familiar tasks
• Misplacing things or putting them in unusual places, like bread in the bathroom
• Problems with abstract thinking, loss of initiative and poor judgment
• Getting lost in familiar surroundings and disorientation
An estimated four million Americans are suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, a figure which is expected to triple by the year 2050. This means that about 1 out of 8 people will be affected at that time. The increasing number of Alzheimer’s cases has been projected as a looming public health disaster – one that is potentially devastating to the economy due to loss of productivity and Medicare spending.
Natural health expert Joseph Mercola believes that your brain is capable of staying sharp as you age – as long as you take care of it. For Dr. Mercola, Alzheimer’s is not a normal part of aging, so making simple lifestyle changes will help reduce your chances of losing your mind to this disease.
Here are Mercola’s Top 5 Tips to Beat Alzheimer’s Disease:
1. Eat Healthy – Eat more antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetable. Antioxidants are known to fight free radicals, which cause the oxidative stress associated with many illnesses such as Alzheimer’s, cancer and heart disease. Minimize grain and sugar consumption to help resolve your cholesterol and blood pressure issues. Omega-3 fats, such as those from animal-based sources like krill oil, have also been found to help ward off Alzheimer’s and diabetes.
Wild blueberries contain anthocyanin and other antioxidants that are known to help protect against neurological diseases.
2. Exercise – Research show that exercise can help protect the brain from degenerative conditions like Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. According to one study, people between the age of 20 and 60 who were less active during their leisure time nearly quadrupled their risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
3. Avoid Mercury – This global pollutant can cause the type of nerve damage similar to the damage found in Alzheimer’s disease. Remove dental amalgam filling, which are one of the major sources of mercury. But remember: you should be in good health before having them taken out. Mercury is also found in most seafood, flu shots, and thimerosal-containing vaccines.
4. Avoid Aluminum – Aluminum has long been associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Use aluminum-free deodorants and avoid aluminum cookware. Some vaccines also contain aluminum.
5. Exercise Your Mind – Mental stimulation, such as traveling, learning to play an instrument or doing crossword puzzles, can help lessen the risk of Alzheimer’s. Scientists believe that constantly challenging your brain helps make it less prone to the lesions associated with Alzheimer’s disease.