Aging

9 Natural Ways to Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease

Diet changes and daily habits can save your brain.

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Worried about getting Alzheimer’s disease one day? You’re not alone! It’s the top health concern nationwide. Fortunately, these scientifically proven strategies make it easy to keep your brain healthy and dramatically reduce your risk of memory loss, foggy thinking and, yes, even Alzheimer’s.

Take vitamin D & cocoa flavonoids.

Taking 2,000 IU of vitamin D and 450 mg. of cocoa flavanols every day can reduce your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease 41 percent or more, according to Harvard research. Vitamin D prevents damaging inflammation inside the brain, while cocoa switches on enzymes that repair damaged neurons.

Eat eggs.

A single egg delivers 33 percent of your daily requirement for choline, a
B vitamin that slows brain aging and can even reverse it, improving memory, focus, and concentration in as little as two weeks.

“Your brain uses choline to produce a chemical called acetylcholine that
is essential for keeping your brain cells healthy and in good repair,”
explains Kent Holtorf, M.D., an alternative medicine physician in
Torrance, California. Other great food sources of choline include
chicken, shrimp, and scallops. Or you can simply take a 450 mg. supplement daily.

Consume mushrooms.

Adding 1/2 cup of mushrooms to your daily diet is a tasty way to keep your brain young and your memory sharp. Mushrooms are packed with nutrients that help your brain soak up and use blood sugar — and when your brain cells get a steady trickle of energizing glucose, it cuts your risk of memory problems by 45 percent, University of Miami researchers say.

Take regular walks.

Taking a 20-minute brisk walk each day can cut your risk of ever developing dementia and Alzheimer’s disease in half, a new British study suggests.

Amazingly, walking stimulates the release of a chemical that
grows healthy new brain cells, explains neurologist Daniel G.
Amen, M.D., author of Unleash the Power of the Female Brain ($13.27, Amazon).

As a result, it actually increases the size of your memory center a whopping two percent per year — instead of having it shrink (as it tends to do after age 50) one percent every year.

Enjoy raspberries.

Fresh or frozen, raspberries are rich in resveratrol, a unique
compound that blocks the formation of artery-clogging plaque, improving the flow of oxygen- and nutrient-rich blood to the brain, says Dr. Amen. The study-proven dose:1/4 cup daily.

Get your hearing checked.

Keeping it sharp cuts your risk of Alzheimer’s disease by 20 percent! When you can hear clearly, your brain is constantly stimulated by what’s going on around you — and that keeps the memory center of your
brain healthy and active, say Johns Hopkins researchers. If
you often find yourself saying “pardon me,” ask your M.D. how to boost your hearing. It could be as simple as flushing out wax buildup!

Pair vitamin C with curcumin.

Together, vitamin C and curcumin (a turmeric extract) significantly increase your body’s production of the immune cells that break down
troublemaking brain plaques, says Ann Kulze, M.D., author
of Dr. Ann’s 10-Step Diet ($24.99, Amazon). “They also slow brain aging
by repairing and replacing damaged nerves.” The study-proven dose: 1,000 mg. of vitamin C and 500 mg. of curcumin daily.

Indulge in a mini massage.

The stress hormone cortisol doesn’t just make you feel jittery and anxious; it also causes your immune cells to become sluggish, so that they have a tougher time killing off germs and breaking down brain
plaques. Fortunately, University of Miami research shows that you can reduce your cortisol production by at least 25 percent for 90 minutes by giving yourself a firm, two-minute ear or hand massage whenever you start feeling edgy.

Stay warm.

Don’t tough it out if the weather’s miserable! Keeping comfortably warm with a hat and an extra layer of clothing on chilly days can re-energize
your white blood cells so they stay active, according to Stanford experts.

This article originally appeared in our print magazine.

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