5 ways to prevent dementia
Dementia is a term defined by a variety of symptoms that result in a person’s cognitive impairment. This negatively affects their ability to think, remember, and reason. This usually happens when the nerve cells in a person stop functioning. While it usually occurs in old ages, it is not necessarily inevitable. A person’s brain naturally deteriorates with time and age, but a person with dementia tends to experience that quicker. If you or any of your loved ones are suffering from this disease, we have listed the best ways to prevent dementia.
1. Healthy diet
In order to reduce the signs of dementia, you must keep a healthy diet. Remember, what you eat has a direct impact on your cognitive abilities. Therefore, ensure that you are consuming the best of foods. When we talk about a healthy diet, we mean a balanced diet that includes equal portions of all food items that are good for your heart, brain, and overall health. Your diet must include fruits, vegetables, legumes, beans, lentils, grains, tubers, fish, eggs, milk, and meat. While you’re certifying that your plate is a part of greens and a loaf of meat, you must also be fully aware of all the food items you need to keep at an arm’s length. Saturated fats, animal fats, salt, and sugar, must be minimized in your diet. This means that all of your junk food containing unhealthy fats and calories must be eradicated. Sugary food must also be eliminated or reduced to ensure a healthy brain. While your brain’s health automatically deteriorates with time, with a healthy diet, you’d reduce dementia’s chances of happening. Even if you get dementia, recovering from it will be much easier with healthy eating.
Studies prove that keeping yourself physically active can reduce the chances of dementia marginally. One can’t refuse the fact that regular exercise is supremely healthy for your heart and brain, and aerobic exercise can slow down atrophy in the hippocampus, the region of the brain that controls memory.
Another study proves that older adults who kept themselves active throughout their lives could keep their cognitive abilities intact than those who didn’t exercise. Exercise is beneficial for weight control, heart health, a boost in mood, and blood circulation. All of these factors have an immediate impact on dementia, and keeping them adequate helps prevent dementia. However, if you want to start exercising, it’s better to seek out the recommendation of your doctor, especially if you have a severe health condition.
Moreover, you don’t even have to start intense workouts immediately after knowing its aftereffects. If you’re a beginner to exercise, start small and gradually. You might only begin with a brisk walk for 15 minutes a day. Once you build up your pace, you can increase the time limit and get flexible with your exercise. 150 minutes of moderate exercise in a week is more than enough to keep your brain and body in an ideal condition.
You can add up some resistance activity to your exercise in the middle of the week that works up your muscles, such as sit-ups. If you don’t want to do that, you can carry out a sports activity that you enjoy such as tennis, badminton, or aerobics to keep yourself fit and enjoy at the same time. Just try not to become a potato couch throughout the day; make movement your utmost priority.
3. Quit smoking
Everyone knows that smoking is unhealthy for your body and brain. You might not be aware, but smoking can be a considerable cause of dementia. With an age of 65 years or older, your risk of getting dementia with smoking increases highly. This is because smoking harms the blood circulation throughout your body, even in your brain.
Bearing in mind that people with poor blood circulation are more prone to dementia than others. Therefore, if you want to prevent dementia, you must give up on the habit of smoking. It will be one of the toughest habits to give up on, but your health must be your first priority. Reach out to a doctor for smoking cessation programs to help make the task easier.
4. Cut off alcohol
If you’re accustomed to drinking alcohol, it is time to cut it off if you want to reduce the risk of dementia. It is actually one of the most substantial causes of cognitive decline. According to MayoClinic, only one drink per day for women and two for men is determined as moderate drinking. If you’re unsure of the fact, the one drink holds 0.6 ounces of pure alcohol. So whether you drink beer, wine, or any other kind of alcohol, to keep your mental activity in the best of forms, you need to give up on this luscious habit.
5. Challenge your brain
Mental health is one of the most buzzed topics being discussed in today’s time, and a whopping number of people are falling victim to diseases that change the overall mood of their lives. Our happiness comes from our brains, and other’s happiness is connected to ours. To keep your mental health in the best position, keep challenging your brain. Open it to new and fresh possibilities of learning. You can do several things to challenge it, such as learning a new language, playing puzzles, reading books, learning how to play a musical instrument, or staying socially engaged. This would provide something to look forward to for the next day and keep your brain active. As long as it’s active and accepting challenges, it won’t give in to dementia.
6. When to seek medical help?
If you witness yourself or someone you love struggling with dementia that doesn’t seem to improve, you need to seek medical help immediately. While memory problems can generally occur with the increase in age and have a common association with fatigue, you must not ignore any symptoms at all.
A doctor would refer you to a neurologist who’d examine your or your loved one’s mental and physical health and recommended checkups accordingly. Currently, there is no proper cure for dementia, but with medications, cognitive training, and therapy, the condition can improve. Our tips mentioned above can prove to be incredibly helpful in preventing dementia; however, if you have it and it keeps getting worse, medical help is imperative.
About Michelle Joe: Michelle Joe is a blogger by choice. She loves to discover the world around her. She likes to share her discoveries, experiences, and express herself through her blogs. You can find her on twitter: @michellejoe524