Two cheap prescriptions to help your health

Cancer and dementia are the diagnoses most feared by patients. Avoiding these two are not only desirable but also actionable – and as close as downtown Alpena.

Cancer can affect many different tissues, therefore prevention involves the health of your entire body. Unprocessed food and clean water in weight appropriate amounts are key to preventing cancer. Where can you get unprocessed foods inexpensively in downtown Alpena? The Farmer’s Market. The people with lower rates of cancer in the United States are those with the least processed foods and the most fresh fruits and vegetables in their diets. Those with the least cancer (as well as the least heart disease and lower dementia risk) are vegetarians. While I greatly value everyone’s business, I would much rather see you at the Farmer’s Market regularly than in my clinic facing an unhappy diagnosis.

After loading up your bags with fresh produce, walk a block to protect your brain from dementia at the Alpena Public Library. Education, social interaction and continued mental stimulation reduce your risk for dementia. Your brain continues to grow, responding to new experiences, even in old age. The library with its helpful staff is a centralized powerhouse of brain stimulation. Of course there are books (including large-print and audiobooks), numerous newspapers, dozens of current magazines, a storehouse of history upstairs, as well as cultural entertainment and yes, even cooking classes (for your Farmer’s Market acquisitions!).

There you have it – a free prescription (don’t’ tell my boss) for reducing your risk of cancer and dementia. Buy and eat food from your local farmers. Stimulate your mind at the Library. Help others now and in the future by supporting both. Be well.

Allan P. Frank, MD, MS