I try to do as many free summits as I can and this one took place in the last month. I thought I would share a summary of the notes that I made. Exercise is so important in prevention of Alzheimer’s. It improves insulin sensitivity, increases BDNF (growth hormone for your brain), creates new neurons in the brain, encourages neural connections and protects neurons. It increases feel good neurotransmitters, encourages the quality and duration of your sleep. Exercise improves blood flow to the brain and can even fend off genetic mutations that contribute to delayed onset of negative changes in an aging brain. Exercise reduces inflammation and activates gene programs to suppress inflammation. Do what you enjoy in terms of your exercise and aim for 150 minutes a week.
Dysbiosis in the microbiome affects your balance in terms of brain function. Gluten can negatively affect brain function and is one food that can contribute to inflammation. It is best to avoid foods that also provoke inflammation- high fat and high sugar. High fiber especially from plants -fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, omega 3 fatty acids (flax seeds ground, chia seeds), legumes (if tolerated) encourages the growth of good bacteria. Eat lots of dark leafy greens and cruciferous vegetables. Prebiotic fiber is whatever microbes can metabolize and use for their own energy requirements, such as inulin, artichokes, garlic, leeks, onions, asparagus, dandelon greens; these foods support healthy brain function. Probiotic foods found in fermented foods (vegetables, kim chi, kombucha, sauerkraut, unsweetened yogurt) can also be beneficial to eat. Eat a diet low in refined carbohydrates (flour products) and even better, eliminate processed carbohydrates and sugar.
Eat a diet that is organic for the dirty dozen list at least (see environmental working group for the latest list) and if you eat non-organic stick to the clean green list. Avoid using herbicides and chemicals in your house to clean. Eat non-GMO foods. Avoid artificial sweeteners which disrupt the microbiome and make you prone to gain weight. Stop diet sodas to avoid migraines. Avoid toxins in creams, lotions, makeup. Be aware that your skin is your largest organ and will absorb whatever you are rubbing into it. Get outside at least 20 minutes without sunscreen from 10 am to 2 pm if possible to make Vitamin D when the sun is still warming.
Reduce your stress and get more sleep. Get at least 7 to 9 hours of sleep. Sleep in a dark, quiet, cool room. Meditation daily can increase stem cells in the brain, repair the brain and grow the hippocampus. Get connected to nature and community to activate your parasympathetic nervous system. Engage your brain by listening to music, doing x-word puzzles, taking a new route to work. Playing with pets, breathing exercises, random acts of kindness, intimacy, and cultivatng healthy relationships can be beneficial to maintaining balance as can massage and yoga.
In terms of supplements, I recommend coming in for a consultation. Often, B vitamins, DHA from an algal or fish source 9which will also supply EPA), curcumin, krill or Vitamin D may be chosen as supportive nutrients. Tests can be done like homocysteine, methylmalonic acid, and other functional labs to have more pointed information on supplementation. To book in with me, call Parallel Wellness at 403-232-1283
Reference: The Alzheimer’s Science of Prevention Summit 2020