Alzheimer’s is a debilitating form of dementia that changes the lives of many people, depriving them of their memories, simple physical abilities, and ability to think clearly. While it usually affects people who are 65 an older, Alzheimer’s is not a normal part of aging. It is a progressive disease that gradually worsens over time, and there is no current cure.
There are many theories about what causes Alzheimer’s, including vitamin deficiencies, free radical damage, glucose control, environmental toxins, and even hormone imbalances. While there is still a lot we don’t know about the brain and Alzheimer’s Disease, there have been breakthroughs in terms of prevention, specifically as it relates to natural Alzheimer’s prevention options, nutrition, and vitamin supplementation.
Natural Alzheimer’s Prevention
A 2016 study at UCLA studied 44 patients between the ages of 40 and 85 with mild memory problems. The researchers found that a healthy diet can “reduce the incidence of protein build-ups that are associated with the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.” The study focused specifically on the Mediterranean Diet, one that includes healthy fats, lots of fish, little meat and rich in fruits, legumes, and vegetables. The study is the first to show how lifestyle factors, like diet and exercise (see below), can directly influence the brain and its activity. (1)
The Mediterranean Diet includes:
- Wild-caught fish and seafood at least two times a week
- Fresh fruits and vegetables, including leafy greens and non-starches such as eggplant, cauliflower, and artichokes
- Whole grains
- Herbs such as oregano and rosemary
- Nuts and seeds
- Olive oil
- Lots of fresh water
- A glass of red wine a day
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The Mediterranean Diet comes from the history and tradition of eating in regions around Greece, Turkey Spain and Italy. It is not only healthy but also extremely tasty, but it is important to choose the right type of these foods. Some good tips for maximizing the benefits of this diet (and others) is to choose:
- Organic foods
- Unprocessed, natural foods (nothing from a box)
- Coconut oil for its natural ability to reduce inflammation
- Colorful fruits and vegetables – aim to enjoy a rainbow of colors in your diet
- Wild-caught fish whenever possible
- All foods high in zinc
At the same time, there are some foods that are best to avoid because of the potential damage they cause to brain function. Some of them include:
- Refined and processed grains (such as white breads and pastas)
- Processed foods from packages, such as hot dogs or boxed products
- Alcohols (thought red wine in moderation is beneficial)
- Foods packaged in any type of aluminum, such as soda
- Tap water, instead choose purified water
2. Exercise, Exercise, Exercise!
Exercise is another highly effective way to keep your brain healthy and protected as you age. The same UVLA study also noticed that subjects who frequently exercised also exhibited lower levels of the protein build ups associated with Alzhelimer’s disease.
While any type of exercise is better than none. High-intensity interval training is an excellent way to decrease fat. Studies indicate that this type of exercise can help reduce fat faster than cardio, though more research is necessary to determine if it is better for the brain than other forms of exercise.
Work in an Area That’s Mind-Challenging
Keeping the brain learning and growing is very important. Jobs that require no thought or are just repetitive are not going to offer the same level of potential brain production. Look for jobs in which you work closely with other people in complex situations as well.
3. Vitamin Supplementation for Alzheimer’s
Even the most well-rounded diets can benefit from vitamin supplements. A steady vitamin regimen helps to fill in the gaps and gives your brain more of what it needs to continue to replenish and remain healthy.
Some recommendations include the following:
- Omega 3-6-9 Fish oil
- Vitamin D3
- Ginkgo Biloba
#4 Bonus Tip for Natural Alzheimer’s Treatment
ESSENTIAL OILS for Alzheimer’s? Yep.
As you see from above, there are many natural Alzheimer’s prevention tips. Diet, Exercise, vitamin supplements, and even hormone replacement are great natural treatment options for this debilitating disease. A more simple Alzheimer’s prevention treatment includes Essential oils.
Essential oils have been used for thousands of years because of their antioxidant, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. These healing oils have become more popular as of late because there are virtually no side effects (if used correctly), and they smell and sometimes taste* delicious!
Studies have shown that sensory stimulation for people with Alzheimer’s can decrease agitation, improve sleep and improve the overall quality of life for those living with the disease. Because essential oils can produce this sensory stimulation, they have become very popular with caregivers
5 Essential Oils That May Help Those Living with Forms of Dementia
Lavendar is calming, balances emotions, helps with depression, anger and irritability, and can help in some cases of insomnia. Lavender can be diffused, directly inhaled, used topically (with a carrier oil like jojoba, olive, or avocado oil), and can be sprayed on linens.
Peppermint is energizing, stimulates a the mind and calm nerves at the same time. Best used in the morning, peppermint oil can be inhaled be diffused, directly inhaled, used topically (with a carrier oil like jojoba, olive, or avocado oil), or even used in a bath (again with a carrier oil).
Rosemary is uplifting, stimulates the mind and body, improves cognitive performance and mood. It has also been known to ease symptoms of depression and also reinvigorate the appetite. Rosemary oil can be diffused or used as a room spray.
Bergamot may relive anxiety, agitation, mild depression and stress. It elevates the mood while calming, and is also good for insomnia. To use bergamot oil, place a few drops in a bath (with a carrier oil), use as a massage oil, diffuse through a room or use a spray on clothing or linens.
5. Lemon Balm
Lemon oil is again calming and relaxing, good for insomnia, and may improve memory and ease indigestion. Lemon oil can be used in a bath, diffused, sprayed in a room, or applied directly to the skin as a massage oil.
At Revitalogy, we always suggest using 100% therapeutic grade essential oils, (such as Young Living Essential Oils), as they are the safest and most effective.
*Not all essential oils can be consumed orally.
Alzheimer’s is a complicated disease. While there is still no known cure, these natural prevention treatment options are an excellent way to prevent and treat certain symptoms. Always contact your doctor before beginning a new lifestyle, diet, supplement, and exercise change. Or, call Revitalogy at: 561-406-2269 to schedule a consultation today to discuss all of our pro-vitality method.