How a Healthy Heart Can Help You Avoid Alzheimer’s
Taking good care of your heart can help you avoid Alzheimer’s disease, according to the latest scientific research. It turns out that things that are good for your heart – like regular exercise and a healthy diet – are also good for your brain.
There are many ways a heart-healthy lifestyle contributes to a better brain. Regular exercise increases blood flow to the brain, while a healthy weight reduces inflammation that can contribute to Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.
Risk factors for developing Alzheimer’s disease include high cholesterol, high blood pressure and obesity. The same risk factors also contribute to the development of heart disease.
LDL or “bad” cholesterol could harm the brain by promoting the buildup of plaques that lead to Alzheimer’s disease. Higher “good” (HDL) cholesterol may result in a healthier brain and lower risk of the progressive disease.
Another heart risk factor, high blood pressure, is thought to put the brain at risk by damaging the vessels that take blood to the brain. Since blood contains nutrients for our cells, reduced blood flow to the brain means fewer nutrients to keep it strong and healthy.
There also seems to be a correlation between obesity and Alzheimer’s. A Marin, CA home care expert can help you manage your risk factors and promote good health.
The good news is, it’s never too late to get started, no matter your age or condition. Try these tips to help ward off Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia while promoting a healthy heart:
- Maintain a healthy blood pressure under 140/90. Your doctor can advise you about what steps to take to keep your blood pressure in a healthy range.
- Reduce the amount of red meat, animal fat, butter, cheese and other sources of saturated fat in your diet. Replace them with healthy fats such as olive oil, avocados and nuts.
- Eat a Mediterranean-style diet with plenty of fish, vegetables, whole grains and healthy fats. This diet has been shown to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s by 40-60%.
- Exercise moderately as you are able. People who exercise regularly are less likely to develop Alzheimer’s. Try walking, dancing or swimming for a low-impact workout. Consult with your doctor to set up an exercise plan.
- Keep your mind active with games, puzzles, gardening, learning new things and playing musical instruments.
A professional from Hired Hands Homecare can help you engage in a lifestyle that’s good for your heart and brain. We provide care management services, companion care, dementia care and more. Call 866-940-4343 to learn more about our Marin, CA home care services.