- Step 1: Eat the right foods Eat a Mediterranean diet: Lots of fruits, vegetables, fish, legumes, and whole grains, with olive oil being the main source of fat. Moderate amounts of turmeric, the spice used in curry, seem to offer a protective benefit too. Avoid saturated fats, which have been indirectly linked with an increased risk of Alzheimer's.
- TIP: Moderate wine drinkers in particular -- both red and white -- have been linked with lower levels of Alzheimer's.
- Step 2: Enjoy coffee Drink caffeinated coffee every day, if you have no other health conditions that prohibit doing so. One study reported that people who didn't consume caffeine were more likely to develop Alzheimer's, and research suggests coffee may even help reduce some of the symptoms in those who already have Alzheimer's.
- Step 3: Watch your cholesterol If you have high cholesterol, lower it through diet and exercise. Research shows that people in their 40s with even moderately high cholesterol raised their risk for developing Alzheimer's by 50 percent.
- Step 4: Keep moving Be active. Studies have indicated that people who exercise regularly reduce their risk of developing Alzheimer's. Get at least 30 minutes of aerobic activity three times a week.
- TIP: People who follow a Mediterranean diet and exercise reduce their risk of developing Alzheimer's by 60 percent, according to one study.
- Step 5: Be a social butterfly Be a social butterfly. In one study, people with extensive social networks were less likely to develop the disease. But don't let your socializing lead to frequent sleep loss: Researchers have found a link between chronic sleep deprivation and the development of Alzheimer's.
- FACT: More than 5 million Americans have Alzheimer's, and that number is expected to increase to 8 million by the year 2029.
You Will Need
- Mediterranean diet
- Caffeinated coffee
- Normal cholesterol levels
- Regular exercise
- Social network
- Wine (optional)