In this blog post, we will look at briefly the top 10 ways to help prevent dementia from progressing.
If you’re looking for more detail on this subject, please read the full-length article here.
1. Healthy Diet
You are what you eat!
Diet plays an important role in the progression of dementia. Many studies have shown that the Mediterranean diet has dramatically reduced the risk of dementia.
So if you don’t already, introduce more vegetables, fruits, nuts, whole grains, beans, fish and olive oil into your diet.
A good diet not only increases blood flow to the brain but also supplies the body with optimal vitamins and nutrients to maintain optimal efficiency.
Overweight and obese people have a much higher chance to develop Alzheimer’s or dementia, however, that’s not to say fit and healthy people can’t, unfortunately, there are other factors that can lead to dementia.
2. A healthy heart
A healthy heart helps to reduce your risk of developing dementia. When someone has high blood pressure there is a chance the blood vessels in the brain can get damaged which impact on cognition and memory.
3. Not smoking
When a person smokes their arteries shrink, leading to a dramatic decrease in the circulation of blood around the body. This means the body and brain aren’t receiving the oxygen and nutrients needed for optimal efficiency.
4. Low alcohol consumption
Alcohol is a poison to the body. With low levels, you can assume there’ll be little damage caused. However, high levels of alcohol consumption can lead to alcohol-related brain damage.
5. Being physically active
Exercise is amazing for the body, it’s even been proven to slow further deterioration of Alzheimer’s. This is because exercising stimulates the brain by increasing oxygen and blood to the brain. Thus enabling the brain to make new connections as well as maintain old.
6. Being mentally active
Routinely engaging in stimulating and mentally challenging activities can significantly reduce the risk of dementia.
The brain is similar to a muscle, the more you work it the stronger it becomes. There are little examples of dementia in professional chess players who continued to practice their game well into old age. The concentration of performing mentally challenging activities helps maintain connections between brain neurons. Simultaneously increasing and strengthening brain cells.
7. Being socially active
We are social beings, we have evolved to perform the best in the company and support of others. So being socially active is another great way to stimulate the brain. Conversations with others help connections between neurons pushing back any cognitive decline.
8. Reducing the risk of head injuries
Traumatic head injuries have an increased risk of developing dementia. This can include small repeated knocks to the head. Researchers are still not fully sure why there is a link between head injuries and dementia. To be on the safe side put precautions in place that limit the probability of getting head injuries or small knocks. Protect your head, eliminate tripping hazards and practice yoga to improve your balance.
Depression can lead to dementia and likewise, dementia can lead to depression.
Suffering from low moods, anxiety, and worry can impact your ability to look after your health. Socialising, eating healthy, exercising, completing brain activities are often overlooked when depressed.
The NHS has a very useful link to see if you have depression and provides advice on getting the right treatment and support to make a full recovery. You can view the link here.
10. Get better sleep
Sleep is your body’s way to recover. Toxins are flushed from the brain through sleep.
Without efficient rest, high levels of beta-amyloid (a sticky protein) appear in the brain causing damage to the brain’s ability to make memories. Bad sleep impacts your daily function, thinking ability and mood.