Brain Health & Alzheimer’s Disease

Diet and lifestyle habits play a key role in how the brain ages. Taking steps to adopt healthy habits can help ensure optimal brain health throughout life. Incorporate these powerful lifestyle choices and habits for the most significant impact on your brain health.

Maintaining your Brain Health

Diet and lifestyle habits play a key role in how the brain ages. Taking steps to adopt healthy habits can help ensure optimal brain health throughout life. Incorporate these powerful lifestyle choices and habits for the most significant impact on your brain health.

  • Exercise: Regular, moderate exercise, like walking and yoga, increases oxygen blood flow to the brain, reduces inflammation, and decreases stress - all of which are great for your brain health.
  • Eat a Healthy Diet: As the saying goes: ”You are what you eat,” and a healthy diet equals a healthy brain. Focus on building your meals around fresh fruits and vegetables, high-quality protein, and healthy fats to fuel your brain with the nutrients it needs to function optimally. Avoid processed foods, foods high in sugar and refined carbohydrates, and minimize alcohol consumption.
  • Sleep: We need good quality and quantity when it comes to sleep. If we suffer from sleep issues like sleep apnea, we have a decreased flow of oxygen to our brains, which can adversely affect our brain health. Aim to get at least 7 hours of sleep each night.
  • Maintain an Active Social Life: Regularly connecting with others and maintaining healthy relationships is an often overlooked but very important aspect of overall health and well-being. Connecting with others provides emotional support and helps combat stress. In addition, a healthy social network of friends keeps us engaged with hobbies that promote health and intellectual stimulation. Activities like dancing, tennis, crossword puzzles, and gardening involve your brain and don’t add too much stress.
  • Don’t Smoke: Cigarettes are full of toxic compounds that disrupt normal body functions and increase oxidative stress. Quitting smoking is one of the best things you can do for your brain and overall health and longevity.


Diet and lifestyle habits play a key role in how the brain ages. Taking steps to adopt healthy habits can help ensure optimal brain health throughout life.





What is Alzheimer’s and What Causes it?

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of age-related dementia, which is an umbrella term for various cognitive challenges that impact activities in our day-to-day life. More than 6 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s. Approximately 1 in 9 adults in the United States over the age of 65 has Alzheimer’s disease, and it is the 6th leading cause of death nationwide.

Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive type of brain disease, meaning it becomes worse over time. Alzheimer’s disease begins many years before symptoms arise; it is only after many years of brain changes that symptoms such as memory loss and communication issues are noticeable.

Typical Age-Related Changes
Making a bad decision once and a while
Missing a monthly payment on occasion
Forgetting which day it is and remembering it later
Sometimes forgetting which word to use
Losing things from time to time
Signs of Alzheimer’s and Dementia
Poor judgment and decision-making
Inability to manage a budget
Losing track of the date or season
Difficulty having a conversation
Misplacing things and unable to retrace steps to find them




Caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s Disease

Caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s can be overwhelming - don’t do it alone. Reach out to family and friends and local resources that are available to provide some extra assistance (see inset below).

Being a caregiver to a loved one with Alzheimer’s is emotionally and physically consuming. Be sure to take time to take care of yourself. Focus on eating healthy, regular exercise, and getting enough sleep.


Leaning on friends and community resources to assist is important. Accept assistance when it is offered. Having a meal prepared or having a neighbor watch your loved one while you run some errands will give you some time to take a break from caregiving and allow you to re-charge.


Making time to stay on top of your routine medical appointments is critical. 35% of caregivers reported a decline in their health related to the responsibilities and stress associated with being a caregiver. To help you stay organized with your routine preventive appointments, sign up for automated text reminders and utilize your support network to make arrangements in advance to help you stay on track with your health.


Get Connected with Local Resources:

Alzheimer’s Foundation of America has many caregiver resources. Their helpline is open seven days a week and staffed by social workers trained in dementia care. They also offer weekly, telephone-based support groups. To get connected, call 1-866-232-8484 or visit

the Alzheimer's Foundation website.

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