Alzheimer's disease- Add life to your years and years to your life
This topic is near and dear to my heart since my mother and grandmother both passed away from this dreaded disease. That, along with my father’s heart disease issues, led me down a path of nutritional interest, and eventually, passion. I attended a webinar recently about cognitive decline, and below I’ve included some of the important and interesting points of interest. The focus of this webinar was nutrition primarily, but there are other components as well like physical fitness. That'll have to be addressed in another post. If you want more information beyond this blog post, please reach out to me through my “Contact” page. I will also include a link to Sharp Again Naturally, who put on the webinar. This website provides a ton of information for those suffering from memory loss, or afraid of eventually dealing with some form of cognitive decline.
But first things first, and this is becoming more and more science based and proven. Lifestyle, genes, and the environment all play a role in Alzheimer’s disease. HOWEVER lifestyle may be the most important. This is called epigenetics. This is HUGE. It means we have some control over it, and it is avoidable to some degree, possibly a very large degree with lifestyle changes.
-5.8 million Americans are living with Alzheimers
-It accounts for 70% of all dementia cases
-More women get it and caregivers are 6x more likely to get dementia
-The ApoE4 gene is NOT by itself predictive
-Prevention is the best treatment
The nutritional component differs somewhat based on who you ask. However, most experts would be in agreement with most recommendations. These following points of interest again come from this webinar and Sharp Again Naturally. As always, consult with your doctor about any nutritional changes you want to make.
-Drink lots of water, it tends to flush things out and clean your system. One standard is to drink half your weight in ounces, even though I drink more.
-Omega 3 fats, like nuts (walnuts and almonds), avocados, ground flax/chia/hemp seeds. This group recommends certain fish like salmon, mackerel, anchovies, sardines, or herring, as well as coconut oil. I personally still hold out on eating much fish and coconut oil but I believe that debate is still open and strong on both sides.
-Avoid simple carbs. Be careful here though. There are good carbs and bad carbs. Don’t avoid good (complex) carbs. I'm talking about white bread, processed cereals, pastries, candy, etc.
-For some people, adding some seaweed is important, like nori, dulce, wakame, all providing a source of iodine
-Avoid artificial flavoring, colors, sweeteners, preservatives
-Avoid neurotoxins, which are everywhere. We ingest them, we inhale them, we put them on our skin
-Avoid EMFs when possible
The last point made during the webinar is one that I always appreciate. It was to make the point about lifespan versus healthspan. There is a very big difference between living a long life, and living a long, and healthy, life. Alzheimer’s Disease can make a successful healthspan difficult, so where there are avenues that are in our control, I believe we should take them. Add life to your years and years to your life. Your children, as well as yourself, will appreciate it!