Life Lessons

Life Lessons: Everyday habits to fight Alzheimer's

Caffeine consumed too late in the day may disturb your sleep which could ultimately lead to harming your brain, but your morning cup of coffee contains the chemical EHT, which has been shown to help protect against Alzheimer’s disease.

“It would be a lot easier to stop the disease from progressing rather than trying to catch up and prevent all of these sort of downstream effects that happen after the disease is really sort of set forth," said Eric McDade, DO, a Dementia Specialist and Assistant Professor, Department of Neurology, at Washington University at St. Louis School of Medicine.

So what can you do in addition to that morning cup of joe? Try drinking black and green tea, they are also rich with antioxidants that may fend off damage throughout the body, including your brain.

Take up dance. Dancing not only exercises social smarts, but learning new steps help brain fitness and the fun can help reduce stress.

You could also take up crafting. One Mayo Clinic study showed the likelihood of mild cognitive impairment was reduced by 55 percent in those who took up activities such as woodworking, pottery, ceramics, and quilting.

Another option: throw dinner parties. Doctor Kenneth S. Kosik, author of “Outsmarting Alzheimer’s” says deciding what and how much to serve, who to invite, and who is sitting where forces your brain to contemplate complex social decisions along with using math and strategic planning skills.

Did you know potatoes could be harmful to your brain health? They contain an amino acid that when exposed to high heat can change into the neurotoxin acrylamide. But the American Cancer Society says soaking your potatoes in water for 15 to 30 minutes before cooking can help prevent this change, protecting your mind.

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