Tuesday, November 8, 2011

National Alzheimer's Awareness Month

5.4 million Americans are currently living with Alzheimer's disease. It is the 6th leading cause of death in the United States and the 5th leading cause of death in those 65 and older.

While age, family history and genetics are major players with this disease, new and emerging research is suggesting that lifestyle factors play an important role in prevention. I am constantly doing my homework so to speak as this disease has ran in my family for generations.  4 consistent prevention factors are:

1. WORK IT OUT AND EAT RIGHT!  This proves to be one of the most important factors in prevention!!! Studies suggest that only 30 minutes a day is necessary.  This obviously varies based on the individual but who can't squeeze in 30 minutes a day!?

2. VITAMIN E.  This is not to suggest taking a Vitamin E supplement but rather to increase foods that contain high levels of this vitamin.  These include: sunflower and safflower oil, nuts and seeds (almonds, sunflower seeds, peanuts, hazelnuts) and green vegetables including broccoli and spinach.

3. FISH.  Fish contain adequate amounts of poly-unsaturated omega 3 fatty acids.  I must say that fish are not my go to-- but since reading reports and studies I have made more of an effort.

4. SPICE THINGS UP-- Research has proven that India has a much lower incidence of Alzheimer's disease. Many researchers believe it may be due in part to their extensive use of turmeric (a component of curry) in their cooking.  NOT a huge fan of curry-- but I am slowly trying to throw a dash in here and there :)

As with any disease it is hard to watch a loved one battle something this big and life changing.  Alzheimer's disease completely takes over the brain and makes things/chores/activities that used to be mindless non-achievable.  I have included a link to the National Alzheimer's Association if you care to read more about this disease http://www.alz.org/.


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