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Nature Knows Best: Alzheimer Prevention

I never knew my grandpa healthy. While I spent a lot of time with him, he was a huge mystery to my little mind and heart. Sadly, there are probably millions of stories like mine.

My ponytail was swinging back and forth as my grandma and I walked down the hall in the nursing home. We visited my grandpa nearly every day. Grandma stopped abruptly and I followed her line of vision. My eyes fell on my grandpa and another woman—also a resident of the home—as they walked together…holding hands.

My mouth fell open in shock but I was even more dumbfounded when grandma turned around and left. I sputtered, “I don’t understand…aren’t you going to do something?” Because if she wouldn’t I surely would. But, I was too young to understand…Alzheimer’s.

I never knew my grandpa healthy. While I spent a lot of time with him, he was a huge mystery to my little mind and heart. Sadly, there are probably millions of stories like mine.

Now that I am older I understand why grandma left the situation alone and the new mystery I long to solve is how to prevent Alzheimer’s, a form of dementia, so my kids never have a similar experience.

Alzheimer’s is a neurodegenerative disease that affects an estimated 5.8 million people, stealing their memories, thoughts, behavior and sometimes their identities. Scientists are uncertain of the cause but there is plenty of speculation. The good news is we can choose to be proactive!

The health of the brain is affected by genetics, lifestyle, and the environment. I feel like a broken record in this column but the food one consumes is essential!

The Mediterranean diet is a healthy choice to promote brain health. Olive oil, wild-caught fish, legumes, most vegetables and fruits, nuts and seeds are included. Red meat can be consumed sparingly on this meal plan.

I am currently reading a New York Times Bestseller called, ‘Grain Brain’ The Surprising Truth About Wheat, Carbs, and Sugar – Your Brain’s Silent Killers by David Perlmutter, M.D. I like what he has to say so far regarding fasting, mild ketosis and more. He includes a diet plan, recommended supplements and the why behind it all.

Aluminum ranks high with naturopaths in regards to being an enemy to the body, specifically the brain. It’s hiding in more places one would think including cookware, vaccines, medications, deodorant, food, water, air and more. Being aware and making conscious decisions can help limit exposure to this neurotoxin which is stored in the brain and has a negative effect, to say the least.

Supplements can help protect the brain such as high-quality Essential Fatty Acids, Glutathione, CoQ10, and Ginkgo Biloba to name a few.

Getting the proper amount of restful sleep at night is important. When we sleep our bodies repair damage. Try to avoid eating before bed, having too much screen time or consuming caffeine late in the day that could affect sleep.

Staying active physically and mentally is highly recommended. Researchers from the Wisconsin Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center studied 284 people and found when the brain is used in complex ways such as in an occupation, damage to the brain is slowed. They recommend working with and mentoring people and staying social for healthy cognitive function. Introverts like me should probably take note.

Taking care of ourselves takes effort, money and a lot of self- control but the results are so worth it…health! My prayer is not only to leave my children and grandchildren with wonderful memories but that they will make their health a priority.

Brooke DeLong, N.D.

“Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.” ~Dr. Suess

Disclaimer: My goal is to empower and educate people to take control of their health, naturally. Please use common sense, visit with your health care provider and do your own research if something piques your interest.

About the Author

Brooke DeLong has a degree in Naturopathy and is passionate about educating and inspiring people. She is a wife and mom to four awesome kids.

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