If you are in middle age and are concerned about stroke risk
factors (or dementia risk factors), then a good place to start
looking is at your hands and your feet! No kidding!
According to study results presented at the American Academy of
Neurology's 64th Annual Meeting, a person's grip strength and
walking speed are good predictors of future stroke or dementia
later in life. The study included 2,400 adults, who were measured
for hand grip strength and walking speed. These 2,400 adults were
followed for 11 years, and 34 of them developed dementia while 70
had a stroke.
Stroke Risk Factors: Study Results
The study concluded that people that walked more slowly were
one-and-a-half times more likely to develop dementia compared to
people who had faster walking speeds. At the same time, stronger
hand grip strength meant a 42% lower risk of stoke or transient
ischemic attack (TIA) as compared to people with weaker hand grip
At the same time, researchers reported that slower walking speeds
were also associated with poorer performance in memory later in
life, along with lower total cerebral total brain volume.
So what does this study data mean to you? Nothing different than
what you probably already know: Don't be a couch potato, stay
fit, and keep an active lifestyle. If you are going to walk from
your car to the store, don't shuffle or amble, but walk with
energy and a brightness to your step! If you keep an active
lifestyle, whether through gardening or workouts at a gym or even
just cooking, chances are that you will maintain or even increase
your hand strength. And with all of that, you have a decreased
propensity for dementia and stroke risk factors!
Other Options for Optimal Brain Function Later in Life
In addition to walking with purpose in your life and keeping your
hands strong and healthy, you can also take further steps to keep
your brain in good working order now and later in life. You have
probably seen the various commercials about online sites where
you can "exercise" your brain to keep it active and alert. In
addition, there are fun mobile Apps like online Scrabble and
other math/verbal apps that challenge your brain.
In terms of supplements, you can also try adding brain foods such
- oysters (they do other wonders for your body too!)
- whole grains
- AFA blue-green algae
- black tea
Wow, I vote for chocolate (the good dark organic kind, of
course!) for taste. For pure simplicity and results, I love the
AFA blue-green algae (form with cell wall removed) which I
have seen do wonders for brain support for people who need it.
Whether these people are facing brain damage or trauma, aging, or
senility, this form of algae that is the heart of the algae definitely has a supportive effect. Part of
the reason is because this type of algae contains tiny molecules that
are at the heart of the algae, and these molecules are small
enough to pass through the blood-brain barrier, directly
nourishing the brain.
For instance, consider this study (from "Edible Microalgae by
Jefrey Bruno, Ph.D.)
"Researchers at Erasmus University Medical School in the
Netherlands conducted a three-year study of 5,100 people between
55 and 95 years of age and found that beta-carotene molecules
acted as 'tiny molecular shields' and may provide dramatic
protection against the ravages of aging, memory impairment, and
general brain damage."
The good news is that AFA bluegreen algae contains abundant
sources of the beta-carotenes discussed in the study, not to
mention plenty of antioxidants. The beauty is that AFA blue green
algae is a simple natural solution that is convenient to add to
your daily regimen. It literally takes just a few seconds to
swallow a couple capsules of the algae, right?
So ... walk with a good stride, keep up you hand strength, eat
good chocolate (or whatever strikes your fancy on the list
above), add AFA blue-green algae to you diet and you will be
doing a lot for your brain and body, not to mention dementia and
stroke risk factors! Very cool!