9 steps you can take to ward off dementia

 

 

 

 

9 steps you can take to ward off dementia

 

“Dementia” is an umbrella term used to describe a variety of cognitive diseases and conditions which develop as neurons in the brain die or stop functioning normally. This then leads to changes in memory, behaviour, and the ability to think clearly.

Although the prevalence of dementia is expected to triple over the next 40 years, research has revealed risk factors that we can influence through lifestyle choices. A new study has concluded that 30-50% of Alzheimer’s disease cases could be preventable.

Only recently have doctors and researchers begun thinking that dementias are preventable. The prospect of being able to delay, prevent and even reverse the onset of dementia has led to a wave of new investigations. These studies have begun to show that lifestyle choices and management of other health conditions can help to keep dementia at bay.

Some of the most significant evidence that risk factors for dementia can be modified through lifestyle changes is research which links brain health to heart health. The risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease or vascular dementia appears to increase with many conditions that damage the heart or blood vessels.

Research discovered that lifestyle changes that address the risk factors for heart disease can prevent and even reverse it. These same lifestyle changes can also prevent Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia.

With this in mind, here are 9 steps you can take to ward off dementia.

  1. Stay physically active. Walking, cycling, gardening, tai chi, yoga, or any other exercise of your choice for around 30 minutes a day provides good blood flow to the brain and encourages new brain cell growth.
  2. Eat a plant based diet. For more information, click here.
  3. Stop smoking.
  4. Maintain a healthy weight.
  5. Stay socially active. You could take a class, volunteer, or just spend time with friends.
  6. Stay mentally active. Try to exercise your brain on a daily basis by engaging in mentally challenging work or activities, such as learning a language, puzzles, or playing games with friends.
  7. Get more quality sleep. Try to get at least seven or eight hours every night.
  8. Limit or cut out alcohol consumption.
  9. Protect your head. Fasten your seatbelt, wear a helmet when participating in sports, and “fall-proof” your home. 

Research has suggested that combining good nutrition with mental, social, and physical activities may be better for maintaining or improving brain health than any single activity.

 

 Source: Ornish Lifestyle Medicine

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