Dr. Weil’s Head-To-Toe Wellness Guide – 1 of 9

BRAIN HEALTH

To help preserve mental function and protect against age-related cognitive decline including dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, implement these healthy lifestyle, nutrition and supplement choices:

Lifestyle

  • Get 30 minutes      of physical activity per day. Regular physical exercise,      specifically aerobic exercise, can help slow memory loss and improve      mental function.
  • Develop healthy      habits in all aspects of life. Not smoking, drinking only in      moderation, staying socially involved, managing stress, getting adequate      rest, and cultivating a positive attitude and outlook – have all been      associated with a lowered risk of Alzheimer’s.
  • Keep an active      mind.      “Use it or lose it” applies to mental as well as physical      health. Do crossword puzzles, mind games, challenging reading, and take      educational classes.

Nutrition

  • Eat an      anti-inflammatory diet. It helps prevent inappropriate      inflammation and counters the oxidative stress which may be linked to      Alzheimer’s disease. Focus on antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables,      foods rich in vitamins C and E, omega-3 fatty acids, and the spices      turmeric and ginger. Dr. Weil’s Anti-Inflammatory Food Pyramid has more      information and specific recommendations.
  • Eat berries. Blueberries in      particular may improve motor skills and reverse age-related short-term      memory loss, and may also protect the brain from stroke damage.
  • Use cooking      methods that limit inflammation. Cook at lower temperatures to      avoid the formation of AGEs (advanced glycation end products) which have been      linked to Alzheimer’s disease, and avoid cooking methods that require      excessive fat, such as deep frying.
  • Focus on fish. Wild Alaskan      salmon, sardines, herring and black cod are excellent sources of      anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids, yet are relatively low in potential      environmental toxins. Diets rich in fish have been shown to alleviate      depression and other mental-health issues.

Supplements

  • Daily      multivitamin.      A good multivitamin can provide optimal levels of folic acid and other B      vitamins, compounds which help lower blood levels of homocysteine, a toxic      amino acid linked to increased risks of Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Ginkgo. Extracts of      ginkgo tree leaves increase blood flow to the brain and have been shown to      slow the progression of dementia in early onset Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Phosphatidyl      serine, or PS.      This naturally occurring lipid is considered a brain cell nutrient and may      have positive effects on memory and concentration. Research has suggested      it can help slow age-related cognitive decline.
  • A daily low-dose      aspirin.      Aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may reduce      the risk of Alzheimer’s disease by mediating inflammation. Because NSAIDs      can cause stomach irritation, they should always be taken with food.
  • Turmeric. This natural      anti-inflammatory spice may have a specific protective effect against      Alzheimer’s disease.
  • DHA. This omega-3      fatty acid, which occurs naturally in cold water fish, is essential for      normal brain development, has been linked to healthy cognitive function.

Acetyl L-carnitine and alpha lipoic acid. When combined, as in Weil Juvenon Healthy Aging Support, this energy booster and antioxidant are an evidence-based combination that appears to provide improved mental alertness as well as increased energy.