Keeping Your Marbles!
Simple things you can do to prevent Alzheimer’s disease.
Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live.
Mental deterioration is so common among the elderly in the western world today that many assume that it's a normal and inevitable condition as people age. On the one hand we have ever increasing numbers of older people in modern western societies suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia, deteriorating inexorably to the point whereby they no longer remember who they are or recognise loved ones. On the other hand, societies where people live well beyond seven score years and ten, (Okinawa, Abkhasia, Vilcabamba and Hunza) are happily going about their lives in their nineties and beyond, fully present both mentally and emotionally, playing a needed and important role in their families and societies.
The difference could hardly be more poignant.
What can be done? Unfortunately, Alzheimer’s disease is very difficult to treat. There are drugs that in some cases allow the patient to function for an extra few months but these drugs are only palliatives that do nothing to slow the progressive neurodegeneration that ultimately leads to dementia and death.
Our inability to cure or effectively treat Alzheimer’s disease makes prevention all the more important, and the examples of the world’s most healthy and long-lived societies all the more meaningful.
The good news is that a tremendous amount has been learned about preventing Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. We now know a great deal about what you can do to maintain clear thinking well past the age of 100 and we have a good understanding of what it is about the lifestyles of the world’s longest living people that has consistently produced such marvellous cognitive functioning even at very advanced ages.
There are 2 main areas to work on:
Preventing Alzheimer’s through exercise and preventing Alzheimer’s by eating well
- Eat a healthy plant-based diet with lots of fresh vegetables, whole grains, legumes, fruits, seeds and nuts. This is a diet that provides plenty of antioxidants and fibre, and produces clear arteries, enabling a rich blood supply to the brain.
- Avoid foods that are high in saturated fat and all processed foods.
- Keep your homocysteine levels low by making sure you consume plenty of Vitamin B12, folic acid and Vitamin B6, and by keeping your meat intake to a minimum (and only grass fed).
- Make sure you consume plenty of DHA, the long-chain omega-3 fatty acids found in fresh fish (not farm fed).
- Get lots of regular physical exercise.
The exciting news is that if you follow the example of the most long-lived and healthiest people in the world ((Okinawa, Abkhasia, Vilcabamba and Hunza) you nurture the possibility of a very different kind of future than is the norm in the industrialised world.
You can take decisive steps towards a long, vibrant life, rich in physical strength and mental clarity.
Even if you have eaten poorly and not exercised for most of your life, shifting now in a healthy direction greatly improves your prospects for the remainder of your life.
Did you like the opening quote?
Norman Cousins was one of the first to write about personal healing through humour and laughter when dealing with adversity, particularly physical illness. He is often referred to as the ‘man who laughed in the face of death’—his own predicted and impending death, that is. With news from his doctor that he would not live very long, Cousins chose to make himself laugh a lot every day as part of his treatment plan for himself. He lived more than 20 years after he was told he only had months to live.
Take care of yourself! Until next time...