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Sunday, November 08, 2009

What's good for your heart is good for your brain

A friend of mine recently sent an article about Alzheimer's/Dementia which I found very interesting. As some readers may remember, this subject has touched our family in a very meaningful way, and there's a lot to learn about maintaining a relatively engaging and rewarding relationship with sufferers of this disease. The entire article is linked here.

However, one thing I found very interesting, and thought worthy of repeating, is that the health community is finding that what's good for your heart is good for your brain! In other words, the strategies my husband was given to help keep his heart and vascular system in good health are the same for those who want to help stave off the effects of Alzheimer's and other dementias. The list is very familiar!

Minimize your own risk of Alzheimer’s disease
  • Keep blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar under control.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Keep in touch with friends.
  • Eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables and other low-fat foods.
  • Eat plenty of fish for the essential fatty acids that can improve cognitive function.
  • Choose foods high in antioxidants, such as blueberries and broccoli.
  • Take mid-afternoon naps.
  • Reduce stress. It can speed up the development of dementia.
  • Drink only modest amounts of alcohol.
  • Stay positive. Research suggests that pessimists run a higher risk of dementia.
  • Challenge yourself mentally by learning new information and doing crossword and number puzzles.

 Turns out that Steve's passion for Sudoku and naps is good for him!

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