Dementia is becoming an increasingly common concern, but now experts have released a list of five lifestyle changes you can make that may help lower your risk of contracting the disease. As well as helping to lower the risk of dementia, the advice listed below will also promote good health and overall well-being.
1. Exercise regularly
All of us know by now that exercise has a variety of health benefits including reducing high blood pressure and cardiovascular problems, improving diabetes symptoms and curbing obesity.
Interestingly, all of these conditions have been shown to be high risk factors for dementia, so lowering your risk of these will in turn lower your risk of dementia.
2. Eat a Mediterranean diet
To date the most validated scientific dietary advice for better cognitive health is to eat a ‘Mediterranean diet’ rich in fruits, vegetables, fish, legumes and nuts – and low in dairy, poultry and other meats.
3. Stop smoking
Research shows that there are significantly more new cases of Alzheimer’s per year among smokers when compared to those who have never smoked.
4. Drink in moderation
Depending on how much people drink, alcohol has been found to have both protective and damaging effects on the brain. Heavy drinking and alcoholism however is a known cause of dementia as it causes a loss of brain tissue, especially in the part of the brain linked to memory.
5. Prevent or treat high blood pressure, obesity and diabetes
These are all well established risk factor for heart disease and stroke. All of these cardiovascular risk factors may also increase the risk of dementia as it increases the risk of hardening arteries.