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Preserving Cognitive Health
As you climb up the ladder professionally, it is important to understand the risk factors that can slow you down with poor memory, brain fog, fatigue and risk of neurological disorders
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The first case I treated many years ago of neurological disorders was a 45-year-old professional diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. It is extremely rare to see this age group with Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and dementia.
As per a study by the American Academy of Neurology, those with risk factors such as high blood pressure, diabetes, cerebrovascular disease and high cholesterol are two times more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease than those without vascular risk factors.
And if you have had high cholesterol and triglycerides combined with low good cholesterol – HDL, malnutrition – your risk for forgetfulness, epilepsy, stroke, and early onset of cognitive decline and neurological conditions is high. So what do you do to protect your cognitive health?
1. Fix your lipids
Release the bad cholesterol and triglycerides, and increase your HDL. This can easily be done by replacing bad fats like saturated fats with good fats like fish oil, flaxseed oil and extra-virgin olive oil, combined with leafy green salads at lunch and dinner. It is amazing how quickly the body expels these bad lipids when this combination is given and raises HDL, the good cholesterol.
Reverse that diabetes. One of the easiest to reverse lifestyle diseases is type two diabetes. Having done this for thousands of patients across 27 countries, I feel sad when I see a diabetic struggling with their condition and their kidneys getting impacted. Sign up for a diabetes reversal plan, there are so many holistic experts who will help you do the same and even diabetologists are now pushing patients to do this. You can email me if you want to start a reversal process as well.
2. Lose weight
This is a no-brainer. Excess of any toxin in the body is not good for your memory and brain. And excess weight is a toxin. Just as bad lipids block memory, bad fat does too. Losing weight is easier than anyone made you believe. You don’t need to starve, over exercise or spare crazy amounts of time. There are easy and simple steps for permanent weight loss when you change the way you live and eat. Focus on someone who will help you achieve that.
The easiest way to protect your memory is to walk for 30 minutes six days a week. Walking 10 kilometres a week protects brain size and in turn, preserves memory. This means just two kilometres five days a week can achieve both physical and mental agility.
4. Meet people
Don’t get stuck in the office rut. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. When this saying came up, clinical evidence between dullness and memory decline was not established but could not be more true today. Go out for a meal with your college buddies. Take time out for a Sunday picnic with your kids. Do a coffee date with your spouse. Talk to strangers. All this opens your mind to newer conversations and experiences. Office work and conversations about work continuously stress us out. Opening your mind to different kinds of inputs outside of work releases stress, which increases mental alertness.
You forgot to do that, right? Most senior executives I treat always say they don’t have time to read. How will you enhance your neuro plasticity if you don’t subject yourself to new experiences by reading? Reading enhances and provokes our thought process, leading us to experience new thoughts and a wider imagination. It is like exercise for the brain. And any moderate exercise will make you healthier. Some book recommendations below that have helped me expand my horizons:
The Courage to Be Disliked:
Unlike what people think, this book written by Japanese authors, is not about Japanese philosophy. Using theories of Alfred Adler, one of the three giants of 19th century psychology alongside Freud and Jung, the authors translate Adler’s philosophy on how we are all free to choose our own future. It’s profoundly liberating, allowing us to develop the courage to change, and accept the limitations we and those around us place on us. Simply put, the book empowers you to know that you always have a conscious or subconscious choice to break from the shackles of being stuck or forced.
The Miracle of Mindfulness
Ordinary activities in your daily life can lead to meditation. You may believe it is tough to find time for yourself, but this book provides practical exercises and profound tales to understand yourself. It shows you that meditation is not about removing yourself from the present, instead it helps you deal with the present better. The book is written by a Zen Buddhist monk who was heavily invested in promoting peace in the world. He passed away at the ripe age of 95 in January 2022.
This book is written by me and as just a journey of writing it was mentally liberating for me, as I interviewed over 50 people across the world from different age groups who are living a physically and mentally alert life without following the difficult guidelines of wellness gurus. The book helps you reduce the ageing process, expel toxins and reduce risk of lifestyle diseases. For those with risk conditions for cognitive decline, it has specific steps towards reversing these diseases if followed consistently. I have authored four books and am currently writing my fifth, but Alive! is my continuing best seller because of the simplicity with which you can change the way you live.
Start with any one of these books, they are all available online. Write to me on how they changed your life or even a tiny part of your perspective. Any change in mental thought patterns is a step towards cognitive health.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.