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Alzheimer’s Disease is the most common type of dementia, affecting more than 5 million people in the United States. While age, gender, genetics, and environment contribute to risk of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, many risk factors are tied to lifestyle, such as smoking, unhealthy diet, lack of exercise, and social isolation. Cardiovascular disease, diabetes, depression, and obesity are also risk factors which have significant lifestyle associations as well.

Our Wellness Dietitian, Valerie Suhr, RDN, LD, suggests making healthy choices now to support mental health into the future!

The MIND diet may reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s
disease, up to 53%. The MIND diet is a combination
of the Mediterranean diet principles with the DASH
(Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet.
Follow the tips below to eat more MINDfully.
• Be picky about what you feed your body and
• Aim for at least 3+ servings of whole grains per
• Consume 6+ servings of leafy greens per week—
think salads, sautéed greens, green smoothies.
• Berries are delicious on top of cereals, salads, or
alone as a snack—aim for 2+ servings weekly.
• Plan out your lunch and dinner meals to have at
least 1–2 servings of fish per week.
• Nuts are a perfect snack—portion out 5 servings
in snack bags to take to work.
• Substitute unsaturated oils, like olive oil, instead
of butter and margarine for most recipes.
• Spare your mind from fried or fast foods—aim
for less than 1x per week.
• The MIND diet recommends less than one
serving per week of cheese.
• Switch your sweets from cakes, cookies and pies
to fresh fruits and berries.

Being happy is critical to mental health.
Incorporate the following tips into your life to
help you live more happily.
• Avoid too much alone time. Stay in touch
with family and friends.
• Join community organizations and clubs to
reduce risk of boredom and depression.
• Make exercise a priority and perform
physical activities that bring you joy.
• Strive to obtain seven to eight hours of
sleep each night.
• Avoid excessive alcohol consumption.
Practice alcohol moderation with only one
glass of wine per day
• Spend time journaling a few times per week
to keep your mind engaged with your goals.
• Use motivational daily calendars to set
yourself up with positivity each day.
• Hang around friends and coworkers that
are also working to live healthfully.
• Reach out to a smoking cessation program
to help live a tobacco free life.

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Written by Lifespark

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