Dementia is a term that’s used to describe different symptoms of cognitive impairment like forgetfulness – a hallmark of various underlying conditions and brain issues. We know that the risk of getting dementia increases with age, but it’s not a normal part of aging.
Early symptoms of dementia usually include:
- Impaired short-term memory
- Trouble finding the right words
- Mood changes
- Difficulty performing routine tasks
- Difficulty adapting to changes
- Poor sense of direction
- Being confused about time and place
According to The World Health Organization (WHO), nearly 50 million people worldwide suffer from dementia. Alzheimer’s disease is one of the most common types of dementia and is the leading cause of death in the U.S.
Since dementia is not a normal part of aging, it’s important to do things that can lower your risk of getting early brain disorders. Here is a list of six effective ways to reduce the risk of dementia and maintain brain health:
1. Follow a healthy diet
Diet is essential for your brain health and normal aging. Experts recommend following a healthier diet and particularly point to the Mediterranean diet as a promising guideline for lowering the risk of cognitive impairment.
It has been established that the Mediterranean diet can lower the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and depression as well as improve mood and brain health. This might be due to the fact that this diet consists of anti-inflammatory foods.
2. Drink alcohol in moderation
Some research suggests that light alcohol consumption can actually reduce the risk of cognitive decline, studies also tell us that heavy alcohol consumption is linked to a higher risk of dementia, especially early dementia. The best way to keep your brain healthy is to drink alcohol in moderation and avoid its heavy consumption.
3. Exercise regularly
Regular exercise is great for our overall health and brain health is not an exception. Being physically active regularly can improve cognitive functioning by increasing brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). BDNF is a group of proteins that maintain the normal work of neurons that are involved in memory and learning.
4. Keep your cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugar levels normal
High blood sugar levels are linked to an increased risk of dementia, high blood pressure negatively impacts brain health and puts older adults at risk of cognitive decline. Plus, there is a connection between high cholesterol and a high risk of dementia.
A proper diet will help you avoid these conditions. Just try consuming more plant-based foods, avoiding processed foods, and eating foods high in omega-3 fatty acids. High cholesterol treatment is an effective way to lower the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, while normal blood sugar and blood pressure help preserve mental function in older people.
5. Don’t smoke
Smoking can harm your brain as well. This habit can increase your risk of Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia. If you don’t know how to give up smoking, consult your healthcare provider who will help you choose effective methods.
6. Manage your weight
While managing weight is important for a variety of health outcomes, scientists think that people with a higher BMI are at increased risk of developing dementia than those who don’t have excess weight. Regular physical activity, healthy diet, and stress management might help people maintain a healthy weight and healthy body.
The Bottom Line
If you want to have a healthy body and mind, consider these things. They’re essential not only for your brain health but also for your overall health and can help you improve the quality of life and stay healthy for a long time.