More studies are indicating that lifestyle changes can protect our brains from diseases including Alzheimer's. Noted expert Dr. Gary Small, author of "2 Weeks to a Younger Brain" and "The Mind-Body Health Report," tells Newsmax that according to researchers at the University of California at San Francisco, up to half the Alzheimer's cases are potentially attributable to "modifiable risk factors."
"In our book '2 Weeks to a Younger Brain,' we focus on nutrition as well as stress management, physical exercise, and mental stimulation to keep the brain healthy and potentially delay the symptoms of dementia," says Small.
Dr. Daryl Gioffre, a longevity expert from New York City, uses cutting-edge nutritional techniques to reduce inflammation in your body and brain, which many believe is the root cause of our most dreaded diseases, including Alzheimer's. Gioffre, the author of "Get Off Your Acid-7 Steps in 7 Days to Lose Weight, Fight Inflammation & Reclaim Your Health and Energy," tells Newsmax that he prescribes a triple whammy to boost brain power:
- Magnesium. Gioffre says this crucial mineral is the No. 1 neuroprotector of your brain. "Magnesium does so many essential functions throughout the body," he says. "In the brain, magnesium affects learning, memory, and mood, along with other factors. Some studies have even shown that this mineral could be a powerful treatment for those suffering from depression — as effective in some cases as prescription antidepressants without the side effects." It has also been shown to reduce plaque, swelling, shrinkage and inflammation in the brain. Foods rich in magnesium include spinach, watercress, kale, chard, collard and turnip greens. The average adult needs to take around 4 milligrams per pound of body weight.
- Omega-3 fatty acids. According to Gioffre, your brain's preferred source of fuel and energy is fat — but healthy fats. "That's because your brain is made of 60% fat, and omega-3 fatty acids in the form of fish oil is one of the most powerful anti-inflammatories for your brain," notes the expert. "Sadly, most of us are deficient in this essential nutrient." The average adult should take 3,000 milligrams in the ideal 2:1 ratio of EPA to DHA. An example is the supplement Alkamind Omega-3 fish oil. Oily fish are also chock full of omega-3 fats, notes Dr. Small, which help protect memory, cognitive function and prevent Alzheimer's disease. There's also a healthy amount of vitamin D in fish. Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to many dreaded diseases, including Parkinson's, vascular dementia, and others.
- B-Complex. This group of vitamins is extremely important for the nervous system, good health, stress reduction, and brain function, says Gioffre. "All the B vitamins benefit, protect and support the brain," he says. "B-6 is important for regulating mood and preventing mental fatigue. This B vitamin is also necessary for the brain to produce serotonin, the feel-good neurotransmitter that makes you feel happier." Vitamin B-6 helps the body make hemoglobin, the part of your blood that carries energy-boosting oxygen to the brain and other organs. "The more oxygenated your cells are, the better you will feel," says Gioffre. "This, along with the other B vitamins, will improve memory, clarity, and focus." Foods like salmon, liver, eggs, chicken, and turkey are excellent sources of B vitamins. You can also take a multivitamin that contains B-complex vitamins.
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