Five behaviors lower your chances of Alzheimer’s disease. The more of them you follow, the lower your risk.
That’s the finding of major new study that was published in the journal Neurology.
The researchers analyzed lifestyle data from 2,765 older people. None had Alzheimer’s at the start of the study. After six years, 608 developed the disease.
The researchers found these five healthy behaviors lowered Alzheimer’s risk:
- A Mediterranean diet.
- Light-to-moderate alcohol consumption.
- Vigorous exercise.
- Not smoking.
- Mentally challenging activities.
People who consistently practiced two or three of these behaviors had a 37% lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s. Those who did four or five had a 60% reduced risk.
Dr. Klodian Dhana was the study’s lead author. His top recommendations are to “engage in cognitively stimulating activities such as reading books and newspapers and playing brain-stimulating games, like chess and checkers.”
5 Best Ways to Stop Alzheimer’s
Following an anti-Alzheimer’s lifestyle can be easier said than done. Here’s help…
- The best way to exercise. High-intensity interval training (HIIT) works better than moderately paced exercise to keep your brain strong.
A 2019 study at Canada’s McMaster University found that HIIT is 30% better than other forms of exercise in preserving something called “high interference” memory. It’s a cognitive skill that allows you to distinguish between similar memories…being better able to recall where you parked your car today versus where you parked it yesterday, for example.
Another advantage of HIIT is that it takes a fraction of the time of a standard workout.
It is adaptable to many different activities. This includes running, biking, swimming, calisthenics, or using a rowing, star climber, or elliptical machine.
Warm up for three to five minutes doing your chosen form of exercise. Then do the exercise at close to the highest intensity level you can for one minute.
Slow down for the next minute or two to catch your breath. Then go hard again for another minute.
Repeat this process five to seven times. Afterward, do the activity slowly for at least two minutes to cool down.
The idea is to push your body for a brief burst, and then allow it to recover. HIIT allows you stay in great shape even when you don’t have time for a long workout.
- The best way to eat. A study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition shows that a specific form of the Mediterranean diet is best.
Scientists compared the health benefits of a regular low-fat diet with a modified version of the Mediterranean diet. It features additional daily servings of dairy.
Subjects on a dairy-boosted Med diet group had greater improvements in cognitive function. They also had better cholesterol readings, lower blood pressure, and improved mood.
The Mediterranean diet with extra dairy is based on the meals commonly eaten in Greece and Italy. It’s simple to follow…
Eat these foods often: Fish, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, whole grains, extra virgin olive oil, herbs, and fruits. To follow the study cited above, have two to three servings of yogurt, cheese, or milk every day.
Eat these occasionally: Eggs, poultry, and red meat.
Avoid these foods: Anything with added sugar; processed meats such as hot dogs and cold cuts; white bread; and most vegetable oils other than extra virgin olive oil, such as canola oil, cottonseed oil, and soybean oil.
- The best way to quit smoking: Big Pharma has all kinds of products to help you quit smoking…nicotine gum, nicotine patches, drugs like Chantix (varenicline) or Zyban (bupropion). The problem is that none of them work very well.
There’s a better way to kick the habit.
Scientists looked at the impact that significant others have on people trying to quit smoking. They found that couples who attempted to quit smoking together were 583% more likely to be successful than people who tried to quit solo.
If you want to quit, find someone to quit with you. It doesn’t have to be a spouse. It can be a friend or anyone else that you see regularly.
The important part is that you make a pact with a fellow smoker who wants to quit and that you support each other.
- The healthiest alcoholic drink: Red wine is the best choice. Most of its benefits come from phenol compounds called procyanidins. They are linked to a lower risk of dementia.
The red wine highest in procyanidins is Madiran. It’s made in the southwest of France, primarily from the tannat grape. Madiran (not to be confused with Madeira, a usually sweet wine) is dry and robust.
Most big wine shops carry it. If you can’t find it, go for cabernet sauvignon. It is also high in procyanidins.
- The best brain-building activities: Scientists at the University of Edinburgh in the U.K. tested the cognitive function of 1,091 people as they grew older. They also tracked how often the subjects played board games, bingo, chess, cards, or worked crossword puzzles.
The researchers found that people who played more games stayed mentally sharper than those who didn’t.
A study from Emory University found that reading also improves brain connectivity. You can combine the benefits of reading and puzzles by reading mystery fiction that’s designed to be solvable.
Examples include the Five-Minute Mysteries series and the Four-Minute Forensic Mysteries series.
Mainstream medicine has no effective treatment for Alzheimer’s. But doing the five brain-building activities can help ensure that you stay mentally sharp for the rest of your life.
Editor’s Note: Where are my keys? Why did I come into this room? What is my nephew’s name? Read our monthly journal Independent Healing to learn if these mental lapses are normal or signs of Alzheimer’s. And discover how to get back your youthful memory. Subscribe HERE.