To be sure, we need to take these headlines with a grain of salt.
- Add cinnamon to your diet – consuming a teaspoon of this spice has been shown to block the production of proteins in the brain that contribute to the onset of Alzheimer’s.(Just two weeks ago, I did a post about cinnamon for Parkinson's. Are we seeing the start of a new cinnamon craze?)
- Drink apple juice – it boosts the production of a chemical compound in the brain associated with learning, memory, mood and muscle movement. (I love the dried apples from my local farmer's market. I'll check to see if they have juice on my next trip.)
- Drink coffee – it acts as an anti-inflammatory that can block cholesterol buildup in the brain. One large study showed that men and women who drank three to five cups of coffee a day reduced their chances of dementia by 65 percent. (I drink coffee in the morning and afternoon. I've written repeatedly about it, including here: Coffee: Good or Bad for Us? The Verdict is In.)
- Socialize more – studies show that a busy social life can improve your cognitive abilities. (I don't think I can make any room for MORE socializing. Sometimes my calendar seems TOO full.)
- Protect your vision – your eyes are a good indicator of how your brain is functioning. Preserving your vision can actually cut your dementia risk by 63 percent. (Well, I need to wear hats now, after my skin cancer surgery earlier this year.)
- Meditate – this will lower your blood pressure and reduce stress, and it increases blood flow to the brain, which is why researchers believe it helps us retain mental acuity as we age. (OK, I admit it: I'm the poster boy for meditation. Here's just one post of many, in which I explain my own personal version of meditation.)
- Eat a Mediterranean diet – a diet rich in leafy greens, fish, fruit, nuts and a little red wine can cut your dementia risk in half because it’s chock full of brain-protecting antioxidants. (Here again, I can check this one off my list. This is MY diet.)