As the AARP and beyond sector of our population continues to grow, we’re seeing more and more people who suffer from some form of dementia or alzheimer’s. And, it’s definitely no fun to look forward to losing your mind as you age. We all want health, vitality, and a working mind to be able to enjoy our life with family and friends into our 70’s, 80’s, 90’s, and beyond.
We know that this is possible because we have more than a few Centenarians around the world who enjoy life to the fullest! And, what most of these folks have in common is a good diet of whole, unprocessed food; good friends and community; a fair amount of daily exercise; a positive attitude; and good sleep with low stress. They typically don’t have some of the diseases of our modern society either, like cancer, heart conditions, obesity, and diabetes.
A recent review of studies appears to link Diabetes with cognitive impairment, leading to dementia. That’s pretty frightening! However, the good news is if you are a sugar addict on your way to diabetes, or if you already have the disorder, it’s not too late to do something about it! You CAN reverse cognitive decline.
Sure, I know it can be challenging to give up sugar, junk food, and processed carbs (for you bagel lovers out there, this includes your favorite flavor of bagel). But, its really not that hard. By making little changes each day, you can totally transform your diet and your health. And, you’ll most likely save money at the doctor’s office and the pharmacy.
Here are some tricks of the nutrition trade to help get you there:
- Slowly reduce your intake of alcohol and caffeine until you can give it up, or enjoy it very occasionally.
- Eat plenty of fresh vegetables daily. Make the vegetables the biggest part of each meal. Especially incorporate dark green vegetables like kale, chard, spinach, collards, broccoli.
- Add good fats into your daily diet (avocado, wild fish and fish oil, raw or toasted nuts and seeds, eggs, grass-fed meats, and olive & coconut oil)
- If you’re not exercising at all, start walking one block per day and then increase that at least once per week. Work up to aerobics and weight lifting 20 – 30 minutes per day.
- Supplement wisely….try to buy supplements that don’t have additives, preservatives, and things you can’t pronounce. At the very least consider taking a good fish oil supplement, D3, and a good probiotic to support your gut and brain (remember, they talk to each other).
- Control the stress in your life, even if it means letting go of relationships that don’t work for you.
- Try going to bed by 10 or 10:30pm every night and get at least 7-1/2 hours sleep.
- Consider getting some short-term professional support with a health coach and an exercise guru to learn how to fit items 1-7 into your life.