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5 Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s disease can be challenging to diagnose, especially in its early stages. Learn about five common signs that distinguish it from common forgetfulness.

Over 30 million people worldwide are living with Alzheimer's disease. Use this list to help to distinguish between the normal memory loss that accompanies aging and early signs of Alzheimer's disease. Talk with your physician if you or a family member is displaying any of these symptoms:

  1. Memory loss that disrupts daily life. This common sign of Alzheimer's includes forgetting important dates, events and recently learned information, as well as repeatedly asking for the same information and relying on others for completion of previously routine tasks.
  2. Planning and problem solving challenges. Common examples are taking a long time to complete familiar, simple tasks such as developing a plan, working with numbers, following directions (such as a recipe) or keeping track of monthly bills.
  3. Familiar tasks become unfamiliar. It may be difficult to complete daily, routine tasks such as driving to a familiar location, reciting much-used phone numbers, or remembering the rules of favorite games.
  4. Confusion about time or place. Losing track of dates, where you are or how you got there, and the general passage of time without recognition is a sign of Alzheimer's.
  5. Trouble understanding visual images, difficulty reading, judging distance, determining color or contrast, and confusion as to what is reflected in a mirror may affect some people with Alzheimer's.

3 Reasons You May Need More Vitamin D

Vitamin D is an essential nutrient, and odds are you don’t get enough. Find out why you need it, and how much to take.

Vitamin D is an essential micronutrient with a central role in maintaining health. I recommend prudent daily sun exposure to support the natural production of vitamin D in our skin as one of the best ways to get enough of this vitamin. Be certain that prudent means sun exposure without getting burned. But if, like many these days, you have few opportunities to go outside due to work, school or for other reasons, you may be at risk for vitamin D deficiency. Decreased or insufficient levels of vitamin D have been linked to:

  1. Suppressed immunity: Our innate systems of defense may not function efficiently without adequate vitamin D, allowing increased susceptibility to infectious agents.
  2. Increased risk of chronic disease: Low levels of vitamin D have been associated with a higher than normal risk of several health conditions.
  3. Heightened inflammation: Vitamin D is a key cofactor in regulating inflammation throughout the body.
  4. Speak with your doctor about checking your 25-hydroxy vitamin D level and find out if supplementing is recommended. I recommend 2,000 IU of vitamin D per day as a baseline level, more if you have depressed blood levels. Look for supplements that provide D3 (cholecalciferol) rather than D2 (ergocalciferol). The Weil Vitamin Advisor can help! QAA401588



Want to Spring Clean Your Diet?

You spring clean your home – why not do the same to your diet? These four simple steps can make a difference in how you feel, your energy levels, and your sleep habits. Give them a try!

Why not make this season the one in which you optimize what you eat? Try these simple suggestions:

  1. Cut out trans fats. Avoid margarine, vegetable shortening and anything that contains hydrogenated oils. Instead, use heart-healthy extra virgin olive oil.
  2. Eat "true whole grains" - that is, grains that are intact or broken into large pieces rather than ground into flour - instead of refined grains. You will feel fuller, in part because of the higher fiber content whole grains provide.
  3. Load up on fresh fruits and vegetables. Make a colorful salad - with red and yellow peppers, dark leafy greens, ripe tomatoes - part of one meal every day. And add a fresh fruit salad as a delicious and healthful alternative to unhealthy desserts.
  4. Take in fewer calories. A simple way to do this is to skip the fast food and prepackaged snacks - instead have veggies and hummus, almond butter and an apple, or a homemade sandwich with organic proteins and fresh vegetables.


Dr. Weil on Healthy Aging has more healthy eating tips - start your 14-day free trial now and save 30% when you join!


Seasonal Recipe: Shaved Asparagus and Arugula Salad

Asparagus is in season in April – making this a wonderful recipe to try this week! It not only tastes delicious, but the asparagus is a good source of vitamins K and C, potassium and folate, all of which help support heart health and healthy fluid balance. Find out how to make this company-worthy starter!

When making the Shaved Asparagus and Arugula Salad, placing the "shaved" slices of peeled asparagus spears in cold water causes them to curl up into a unique, spiral shape, adding to this beautiful salad's visual appeal. White asparagus has a mild flavor that we prefer for this salad. However, green asparagus will actually curl better than the white.

Make the recipe this week!

Check out other great recipes!


Tired of a Cloudy Outlook?

Pessimism can do more than depress your mood  – it can harm your physical health as well. But some simple steps can help you reverse pessimism – try them out!

Did you know that habitual pessimism has been linked to a higher risk of dying before age 65? On the other hand, regularly expressing positive emotions, such as optimism, is associated with a variety of health benefits: lowered production of the stress hormone cortisol, better immune function, and reduced risk of chronic diseases. If you are stressed-out or anxious, which can be either a cause or an effect of a pessimistic outlook, try the following:

  1. Take care of yourself by eating a healthy diet, execising regularly and getting adequate sleep.
  2. Express your emotional reactions honestly so you can effectively deal with what's bothering you.
  3. Confide in someone - your mate, a good friend or a trusted relative.
  4. Laugh. Even fake laughter has healthful benefits. Watch a comedy, tell stories with close friends and family or just start smiling and laughing in the mirror.
  5. View the cup as half full instead of half empty.

Why You Should Eat More Grapes!

A childhood favorite, grapes should also be part of your diet once you reach adulthood – the benefits they offer are numerous. Learn more!

Whether you eat the fruit, seeds or skin; drink the juice; or sip on red wine, grapes can help reduce the risk of heart disease. These bright fruits are rich in polyphenols (naturally occurring plant compounds known to have antioxidant activity and other health benefits) including resveratrol, phenolic acids, anthocyanins, and flavonoids, which help to:

  1. Slow or prevent cell damage caused by oxidation, which is an important step in deterring the development of atherosclerosis.
  2. Reduce blood clotting and abnormal heart rhythms.
  3. Lower blood pressure in patients with hypertension.

Choose the darker colored varieties of grapes for the most polyphenol benefits and opt for eating the fruit or skins rather than juice when able.


Want to Minimize Stress in Your Life?


Not all stress is unhealthy – but when stress seems to be persistent and taking over, managing it is important for your body, mind and spirit. Learn how to manage stress before it becomes an issue.

This tip is brought to you by, Dr. Weil's 8-week plan - visit today to start your 10-day free trial!

If you want to reduce unhealthy stress, start by identifying the problems and situations that create stress, then learn to manage them by practicing general techniques of stress protection, such as breathing exercises. As for supplements, consider the following:

  1. B-complex. B vitamins can help balance mood, calm the nervous system, and increase the efficacy of certain prescription antidepressants.
  2. Omega-3 (fish oil) supplement from molecularly distilled fish oil. A deficiency in omega-3 fatty acids has been associated with increased anxiety and depression.
  3. Valerian (Valeriana officinalis). An extract from the root of this flowering perennial contains essential oils that have been shown to help some people more effectively deal with stress.
  4. Calcium and magnesium. Both are involved in many key physiologic processes and may help support healthy sleep, as well as muscle relaxation.
  5. St. John's wort (Hypericum perforatum). Extracts of this flowering herb, indigenous to Europe, may help boost mood and maintain a healthy emotional outlook.
  6. L-Theanine. This extract of tea can help promote a sense of calm and relaxation without sedation.

The Weil Vitamin Advisor has more information on these supplements - get your free recommendation and see if they are suggested for you.



Want to Clean Up Your Diet?

If you want to start eating and drinking foods and beverages that make you feel good inside and out, start by eliminating drinks that contain this drug from your diet.

Caffeine is an addictive drug that four out of five American adults use every day, whether it be in coffee, soft drinks, tea or another form. If you feel you may be addicted to caffeine and wish to give it up, try the following:

  1. Start by choosing a period of time when you have relatively few obligations, such as a long weekend.
  2. Commit to trying three caffeine-free days, and see how you feel afterwards.
  3. Prepare to experience tiredness, irritability and a very bad headache, especially after avoiding caffeine for 24 hours. Diminish the discomfort by keeping yourself busy: take walks, spend time in the garden, or do other light, soothing activities.
  4. Avoid anything that may aggravate a headache, such as prolonged TV watching or reading in low light. These side effects will eventually diminish - and are worth it in the long run.

Or, consider weaning yourself off caffeine by gradually reducing your intake. Substitute green tea or decaffeinated coffee for caffeinated coffee, and drink water or fruit juice mixed with sparkling water in lieu of cola. Breathing exercises, physical exercise and a diet that incorporates plenty of fruits and vegetables may also help reduce the severity of side effects.

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