FACT: Dementia is the second leading cause of death in Australia, Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) specifically being the most common form. With this horrible debilitating disease, the brain gets damaged affecting your memory, thinking and behaviour.
AD is becoming increasingly prevalent which has shown us that there is more than just genetics driving this disease. Research has revealed that your DIET and LIFESTYLE choices early on in life influences your risk of developing this condition later down the track by almost 50%!
Dr. Bredesen is an internationally recognised expert on neurodegenerative disease and at the forefront of this area of research. He is among the school of thought that AD is a preventable and reversible condition, if addressed early enough. Diet and lifestyle are two of the main drivers irrespective of whether or not you have a genetic predisposition.
Dr. Bredesen has identified different types of AD. Understanding these helps us to understand how we can protect ourselves against it.
Inflammation – caused by a poor diet high (e.g. trans fat, processed foods) toxins or pathogens. Are you eating enough anti-inflammatory foods? Do you have a good balance of bacteria living in your gut?
Atrophy – wasting away of the brain due to nutritional deficiencies, toxins and hormone imbalances. Are you getting enough nutrients in your diet?
Insulin resistance of the brain - associated with Type 1 & Type 2 Diabetes and inflammation triggered by high levels of glucose (how much sugar is in your diet? Do you eat too many carbs?
Toxins - associated with the exposure of toxins such mould or heavy metal toxicity. Are you eating too much tuna?
Vascular - impaired cardiovascular health affecting oxygen to the brain. Do you exercise?
Trauma - associated with previous head injury.
WANT TO REDUCE YOUR RISK OF DEVELOPING AD?
Here are the top 9 diet and lifestyle interventions that have the strongest impact
- Avoid insulin resistance & regulate your blood sugar levels by avoiding sugar, controlling your intake of carbohydrates and avoiding those in the simple form such as white bread and fruit juice.
Sleep 7-8 hours a night. This allows your brain to flush out toxins and repair and regenerate healthy brain cells.
Minimise your exposure to toxins. Check for mould in the house and use natural skin care products.
Eat an anti-inflammatory and nutrient rich diet high in omega-3 fatty fish, colourful fruit and veggies rich in antioxidants. Lean more about eating an anti-inflammatory diet
Restore nutrient deficineices by consuming a balanced diet, maintaining a healthy gut flora and getting some sun for a good dose of vitamin D.
Support your immune system system to prevent infections and minimise antibiotic usage. 80% of your immune system is in your gut so how is your gut health?
Reduce stress. Meditate, take a deep breath, take a break.
Keep your brain stimulated. Sudoku anyone?