The idea of the positive power of the number seven is found around the world:
• There are seven heavens in Islam and Judaism.
• In Confucianism, seven expresses the harmonious relationship between yin, yang, and the five elements.
• In Hinduism, there are seven higher worlds.
• The newborn Buddha takes seven steps.
You can now add “Life's Simple 7” to that list. It's also a path to enlightenment because it protects your brain from dementia.
A study in JAMA Neurology found that following the American Heart Association's "Life's Simple 7" guidelines dramatically reduces the chance of developing cognition problems, even for people at high genetic risk for dementia.
High risk occurs when you have one or more copies of a gene called APOE4, a variant of apolipoprotein that encodes proteins carrying cholesterol around the brain and interferes with waste removal from the brain.
What are the Simple 7?
1. Manage blood pressure
2. Control cholesterol
3. Reduce blood sugar
4. Get active
5. Eat better
6. Lose weight
7. Stop smoking
The study tracked 11,561 people, mean age 54, for 30 years and found that adopting those behaviors in midlife offers the best protection.
And it's not as hard as it might sound. If you eat better, get active, and lose weight, chances are you'll also control your cholesterol and blood pressure, and reduce your blood sugar levels.
For tips on nutrition, building an exercise program, and quitting smoking, check out my books, "This is YOUR Do-Over," "What to Eat When," and "The What to Eat When Cookbook."