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Medical Edge: The Memory Diet

CINCINNATI (Liz Bonis) -- Hundreds in the community are raising money to help fight Alzheimer's disease. 

But until there is cure, a new report says prevention is the best defense.
 Alzheimer's is a disease that impacts memory early on but over time the brain can no longer tell the body how to function.  That is how people can die from it.

Steve Olding lost both his grandmothers to the disease.  He now works for the Alzheimer's Association.  The numbers, he says, are already at epidemic proportions.

Steve says, "Right now Alzheimer's affects more than 5 million people and with the baby boomer generation that's expected to more than triple by the middle of the century."

Right now there is no cure, only medications to slow down Alzheimer's progression.  That is why a new report says the public should try to reduce their risk.  The report was put together by several international researchers who say that Alzheimer's is not just a natural part of growing older.  They encourage all to take seven steps to prevent this disease and they remind everyone that what is good for the heart is good for the head.

First up, reduce fried foods.  Second, as dietitians have long recommended, eat a wide variety of plant foods; especially those with the colors of the rainbow.

Dianne Schneider is a registered dietitian and advises, "Think of anything full of color, how wonderful to have blueberries and raspberries and strawberries.  Those are wonderful."

Third, eat foods such as nuts which are loaded with vitamin E.  Fourth, ask your doctor if you should take vitamin B-12.  Fifth, watch your weight; especially weight around the waist.  Sixth, exercise your brain with word games and social interaction with others.  And finally, exercise your body.  Forty minutes of un-interrupted activity three days a week appears to enough to bump up brain power.

The other thing on the list for a good memory is a good night's sleep.  At least seven hours a night is recommended.

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