Jun 3, 2010 12:05 PM by Bea Karnes, News First 5

Diet and exercise keep you sharp into golden years

The riches of the golden years are all too often stolen. As we age our chances of being afflicted with dementia go up dramatically and it can creep up on you.

"Maybe your memory is not quite as sharp as usual, your problem solving skills are not quite as good but you're still functioning perfectly well," said Dr. Miles Hassell, an integrative medicine expert.

It doesn't have to be that way. Doctors say there are ways to protect yourself starting now, beginning with diet and exercise.

"A daily exercise program is probably associated with a 40 percent decrease in dementia," Dr. Hassell says.

Food can help too. Dr. Hassell says eating a Mediterranean diet can cut your chances of developing dementia by 40-percent.

"More fruits, vegetables, beans, grains and healthy fats, fish, nuts, olive oil - and this pattern, for reasons that are not at all clear to us, seem to be associated with a lot less dementia."

White flour and sugar have the opposite effect. "In fact, you can give people a dose of sugar and show in the hours following a large sugar load a reduction in how well their brain works," Dr. Hassell explains.

And believe it or not, your brain works better if you belly up to the bar, but don't overdo it. Hassell says five to seven drinks a week is just right and it doesn't matter which kind of cocktail, thanks to the ethanol molecule in alcohol. It thins the blood and acts as an anti-oxidant.

And last but not least, more exercise, only this time using your mind. "Crosswords, mathematical puzzles, music, conversation, socializing -- all are an important aspects to preventing dementia, as well."

So here are doctors orders: Wake up, work out, have some fish and fruit, have a drink and socialize with friends and family.



»Topics in this article

More News

Story Photo

13 minutes ago

Falcon school fights to save student's life

FALCON- Aden Knar, a third grade student at Falcon Virtual Academy, is in need of a life-saving bone marrow transplant. His school, Falcon Virtual Academy, will host a bone marrow donor drive tomorrow to help find a match Aden. Knar, 10, was diagnosed at age 4 with acute lymphoblastic leukemia and entered remission in 2008. In November 2013, the Knar family learned that the leukemia had returned, and is now isolated in his bone marrow. In an outreach of support, Falcon Virtual Academy hosted a bone marrow donor drive in January, and will be hosting another tomorrow from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. at 6113 Constitution Ave., directly west of Care and Share Food Bank for Southern Colorado. "We wanted to reach out to the family again," said Jodi Fletcher, assistant principal. Fletcher explained that more than 250 people participated in the January drive, and she hopes to have similar numbers April 19. The money from a bake sale at the drive, and a portion of the proceeds raised from a spring formal...

Most Popular

Top Videos

1 2 3 4