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Monday, 11 September 2017

Ageing: 10 Important Ways to Reduce Brain Damage

Do you know that if your brain is working maximally and blood perfusion is optimum, most brain damages especially Alzheimer's disease would be prevented. 
I keep receiving a plethora of complaints in form of texts from people above 50 especially women, who think they are not ageing(aging) well.
They complain of decreased libido, arthritis, constant waist pain, chronic back pain, blurred vision, forgetfulness, staggering gaits, constant upper abdominal pain, etc etc.
Do you know that most of our disabilities are anchored on reduced brain function. If your brain is working maximally and blood perfusion is optimum – most brain damages especially Alzheimer’s disease would be prevented.
Prof Joel Furhman who at 80 was as fit as a fiddle, had very little limitation. He remembered that he altered his lifestyle when he clocked 50. He decided to recreate these strategies for the benefit of mankind. Let us begin.
1) Maintain favourable blood pressure and cholesterol.
• The small arteries of the brain are sensitive to elevations of blood pressure – and long term Hypertension can injure them. Several studies support the connection between blood pressure and brain health.
• Higher blood pressure correlates with poorer cognitive performance and damage to brain tissue.
• According to long term studies, the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia is more than doubled if systolic blood pressure is above 140 – 160mmHg for a long time.
• Cholesterol plays a role in the formation of amyloid beta plaques, a damage that is characteristic of Alzheimer’s disease. Please if you are above 50, and hypertensive always consult your doctor.
2) Check your Vitamin D level.
• Low levels of vitamin D are linked to cognitive impairment, and dementia in older adults, because vitamin D is involved in memory formation.
• Vitamin D is also involved in regulating glucose and calcium transport to and within the brain, and also protects cognition by reducing inflammation, and increasing availability of certain neuro transmitters.
• Get your vitamin D level checked regularly with blood test if you are above 50, and you notice random forgetfulness creeping into your life. Normal level 30 to 45ng/ml.
3) Take much of vegetables and Vitamin B12.
• If you are above 60, and start noticing confusion and depression in your life. Maintaining sufficient levels of omega-3 fatty acid DHA in the brain is an important measure for preventing neuro degenerative diseases later in life.
• Studies have shown that higher intake, higher circulating omega-3 DHA and vitamin B12 are associated with a decreased risk of Alzheimer’s disease, but let your doctor exclusively determine this.
• 20% of adults over age 60 are either insufficient or deficient of vitamin B12 – which causes problems in the brain, including confusion, depression and poor memory.
• Since your body’s ability to absorb vitamin B12 decreases with age, and the vitamin is not present in plant foods, it is wise to supplement. Ask your doctor.
4) Limit your consumption or red meat and other animal products.
• Copper and iron are essential minerals present in large amounts in red meat: these minerals accumulate in the body over time, and in excess they can harm the brain.
• Excess copper and iron contribute to oxidative stress in the brain, and are involved in amyloid-beta plaque formation in the brain which could lead to Alzheimer’s disease.
• As we age let us consume wore vegetables, beans and fruits. Stick to healthier white meat – like fish, snails, stock fish or chicken.
5) Focus on whole plant foods.
• A good rule to follow as we clock 50, is to have 90% or more of your diet in whole plant foods – meaning vegetables, fruits, legumes, beans, wheat, nuts and seeds.
• A diet higher in whole plant foods and low in red meat and dairy products was associated with 36% decrease in risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
• If you are above 50 make sure your food is rich in natural healthy plant foods found in different parts of Nigeria. This is when you begin to to make amends for your youthful over-consumption-indiscretion, and your body will begin to regenerate and heal.
• At every meal, add more raw vegetables to your diet, as you age, by eating a large salad at least once a day. Add green-beans, tomatoes, paw-paw, raw onions, carrots, nuts and seed based dressing.
What is our take this week?
As we clock 50, we should make conscious efforts to change our eating patterns. We should eat healthier foods. Knowing that after half-a-century of clogging our system with junk-food, some of our organs are bound to be failing or have failed. I want you to enjoy your old age without infirmities.
...to be continued.
Written by: Ojum Ekeoma Ogwo. Twitter: @ _ DRSUN

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