By Dr. Mercola
The connections between stress and physical and mental health are undeniable. Studies have found links between acute and/or chronic stress and a wide variety of health issues.
This includes reduced immune function, increased inflammation, high blood pressure, and alterations in your brain chemistry, blood sugar levels and hormonal balance, just to name a few.
According to recent research, stress also appears to be related to onset of Alzheimer’s disease, which currently afflicts about 5.4 million Americans, including one in eight people aged 65 and over.1
It is projected that Alzheimer’s will affect one in four Americans in the next 20 years, rivaling the current prevalence of obesity and diabetes. There is still no known cure for this devastating disease, and very few treatments. Alzheimer’s drugs are often of little to no benefit, which underscores the importance of prevention throughout your lifetime.
Fortunately, there’s compelling research showing that your brain has great plasticity and capacity for regeneration, which you control through your diet and lifestyle choices.
Avoiding gluten and casein, or wheat and dairy primarily, appears to be of critical importance, as is making sure you’re getting plenty of healthful fats (including demonized saturated fats). Casein is the primary protein found in dairy, and can be problematic for dairy intolerant individuals. However, it’s also found in human breast milk. Additionally, raw dairy is generally well tolerated by casein sensitive individuals, but contraindicated for those with a severe allergy.
Fasting also has a remarkably beneficial influence on your brain health. At the end of this article, I share my best tips for maintaining healthy brain function well into old age.