A 2010 study on Alzheimer’s found that Latinos are about 1.5 more times more likely to develop Alzheimer’s than non-Latino whites. It’s estimated that the number of sufferers will grow from 200,000 (2010) to over 1.3 million in 2050. Latinos face a greater risk of the disease because like the general population they are living longer and growing in numbers. Furthermore the higher rates of vascular disease (diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol) in the Latino community seems to promote a higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s and other dementia. A direct link between diabetes and Alzheimer’s has not been absolutely established but scientist know that excess blood sugar or insulin can harm the brain in several ways.
Family history and genetics certainly play a role in developing both diabetes and Alzheimer’s but so do environmental factors such as nutrition/diet and exercise. Establishing a healthy diet and exercise routine can help prevent the onset of diabetes and possibly Alzheimer’s. Before launching into any new activities or changing your food intake, it’s important to check with your doctor and ask their advice on developing and implementing a new health plan.
A BRAIN HEALTHY DIET
Increase intake of:
- Vegetables & fruits high in antioxidants
- Fish containing omega-3 fatty acids (salmon, tuna, trout and halibut)
- Nuts (almonds and pecans)
- Whole grains
- Foods high in saturated and trans fats
- Foods/drinks high in sugar
STAY PHYSICALLY ACTIVE
- Exercise for 20-30 minutes a day
- Tai Chi