Hispanics are about 1.5 times more likely to develop Alzheimer’s than other ethnic groups. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, the disease will soar to 600% among Hispanics by 2050. Those are staggering numbers and unfortunately there are many factors that contribute to those numbers. Hispanics have high rates of cardiovascular diseases, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.
What Can You Do Now?
There’s no cure for Alzheimer’s and while there’s prescription drugs that are given to patients, they only delay the symptoms, not cure them. Here are some things that you can begin doing now to promote a brain-healthy lifestyle:
- Regular exercise that includes 30 minutes of cardio
- Healthy balanced diet with fruits and vegetables
- Mental stimulation such as word games or anything that makes you think fast
- Getting at least 7-8 hours of sleep every night
- Managing stress effectively to reduce worrying about things
- Having an active social life where you interact with people on a daily basis
Herbal Remedies for Alzheimer’s?
Many Hispanics grow up with herbal remedies, remedies that their mom or abuelita gave them as a child. There are teas, herbs, and dietary supplements that can cure almost anything, according to grandma. While home remedies are great to alleviate a stomachache, when it comes to Alzheimer’s it might not be such a great idea. There have been many studies about alternative medicine and dietary supplements, and one of the first things that they advice is the importance of telling your doctor what you’re taking.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is not required by law to approve dietary supplements. For example, Ginkgo Biloba, is a dietary supplement that claims to help improve your memory, except there’s no evidence. Since they’re not FDA approved, it’s the manufacturer’s responsibility to ensure that those products are safe and contain the ingredients on the label. The worst part of this is that dietary supplements can interfere with your medications.
Keeping active and eating right is key for your health. When it comes to Alzheimer’s, Hispanics are at high risk. It’s important to keep your mind busy and to challenge yourself every day. The small steps you take today can benefit you greatly in the future. No one thinks about Alzheimer’s when they’re young, they think about being healthy. If you could take some healthy steps today, you will reap the benefits when you’re older.