When my mother developed Alzheimer's disease, I was baffled. She seemed to eat right, exercised regularly and had minimal health problems. And as her disease progressed, I moved from baffled to devastated. Her personality changed, and my once energetic, enthusiastic, positive mother became confused, unable to enjoy life and depressed. And the question arose: Is there anything that I could do to prevent this life-changing condition?
Author of "Power Foods for the Brain: An Effective 3-Step Plan to Protect Your Mind and Strengthen Your Memory," Dr. Neal Barnard, president of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, has a positive answer: Yes. In fact, he says, "You may be able to reduce your risk of Alzheimer's disease by a whopping 70 to 80 percent," according to ABC News.
Here are seven ways to succeed in minimizing your risk:
- Minimize your intake saturated and trans fats.
- Aim for a plant-rich diet, featuring vegetables, legumes, fruits, and whole grains. Recommended reading: "Forks Over Knives - The Cookbook: Over 300 Recipes for Plant-Based Eating All Through the Year" and "The Karma Chow Ultimate Cookbook: 125+ Delectable Plant-Based Vegan Recipes for a Fit, Happy, Healthy You" (click for details).
- Get 5 mg of vitamin E daily through food sources such as nuts or seeds. Tip: Learn about the benefits of almonds from Dr. Andrew Weil, including his recipe for low-calorie almond cookies, by clicking here.
- Take a B12 supplement.
- Avoid iron and copper in your multivitamin.
- Avoid cooking with aluminum pans.
- Walk briskly a minimum of three times a week for 40 minutes. Tip: If you can't walk during the day and want to avoid the dangers of walking at night, invest in a walking for fitness DVD, such as Leslie Sansone: Ultimate 5 Day Walk Plan (click for details).