It’s not fate: 5 measures for preventing dementia
As the population grows older, the number of people suffering from dementia is also increasing. The illness now affects four to five million Americans, which also puts a strain on loved ones taking care of sufferers. Symptoms of dementia include impaired memory, problems with orientation and speech, as well as changes in the sufferer's personality. As terrible as this condition may be, there is some good news though. If you make the right lifestyle choices, you can reduce the likelihood of developing dementia.
The brain needs cognitive stimulation so that it can keep up its mental performance. That's why it's important to be in regular contact with other people. As well as spending time with friends and family, you can meet new people by doing some voluntary work or taking up a new hobby.
2. Learning new things
If you think it's too late to learn new things when you're 60, 70 or 80, you're wrong. Picking up new skills is actually an excellent way to stay mentally fit. Whether it's taking evening classes or learning a new instrument, the possibilities are endless for getting the gray matter going. To help prevent geriatric diseases, it's important to be open to new activities and experiences.
3. Taking measures against risk factors
A weak heart or cardiac disease increases the risk of developing dementia. High cholesterol, high blood pressure, being overweight, and high blood sugar levels cause damage to the heart and arteries over time. That's why it's important to keep these sorts of health issues in check. Your mental wellbeing is also a key factor, as depression can also increase the likelihood of developing dementia.
4. Leading a healthy lifestyle
A study by Columbia University in New York has shown that eating healthily and doing regular exercise can reduce the risk of developing dementia by 60 percent. So be sure to include enough Omega-3 fatty acids in your diet as they increase your cognitive performance and help protect you from developing cardiac diseases. In addition, a Mediterranean diet is good for preventing dementia as it contains lots of fruits, vegetables, nuts, and wholegrain products. Instead of using butter or margarine, you should opt for a high-quality olive oil. It's also important to keep portions of milk products, fish, and poultry small; red meat should only be eaten several times a month. Finally, drinking a glass of grape juice every day is a good measure for preventing cardiac issues.
Regular exercise is another key factor for healthy cognitive performance. As well as increasing the blood flow to the brain, staying active also helps eliminate several risk factors relating to dementia, such as obesity and high cholesterol. Dancing is a particularly good way to stimulate different areas of the brain.
5. No smoking
Studies have shown that smokers' memory performance is considerably reduced only five years after taking up the habit. In addition to other health dangers associated with smoking, this nasty habit increases the likelihood of developing dementia. Though smoking can help improve your concentration for short periods, it has serious long-term effects on the brain. That's because smoking causes damage to your lungs and arteries, thus reducing the oxygen supply to the brain.
The risk of developing dementia generally increases as you get older. This incurable disease is more prevalent in women than men. However, you can take a big step toward reducing the risk of developing dementia by adhering to the advice above.