Do you know what are some ways we can prevent dementia?
The impact of dementia on the population will grow in the coming decades. We do not intend to be fatalistic with this data. We are only talking about a reality of which we must be aware. It can be explained in a very simple way.
Life expectancy is increasing. This means that we are going to have an older population, where the risk of developing neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s or another type of associated dementia is almost inevitable.
Thus, we are faced with a type of reality that, until a few decades ago, was not so common.
It is necessary to take action together. Medical and scientific institutions must develop new treatments as well as early detection mechanisms.
In turn, social organizations are obliged to put in place adequate care measures for these patients, with which to guarantee them a dignified life and in adequate conditions.
On our part, and at the individual level, we also have a clear responsibility: to take care of ourselves and apply strategies that can significantly reduce the risk of developing dementia tomorrow.
It’s worth taking this into account. Even though we don’t avoid 100% risk, we manage to control an important percentage. Here are some habits that help prevent dementia:
1. Mental stimulation: no, sudokus are not enough
Brain stimulation is essential in preventing cognitive deterioration.
We’re talking about neuroplasticity, the wonderful ability of our brains that allows us to keep making connections and building new neuronal tissue.
Now, as much as we believe that something like this can only be achieved by solving crossword puzzles or sudokus, we are wrong.
- To prevent dementia we need to enhance our social interaction, we need communication, challenges, new learning, broadening perspectives, laughing, discussing and letting ourselves be inspired by the people around us.
- The brain lights up with new learnings (and the more complex they are, the better). Something like learning to play an instrument after age 60 is a wonderful boost to our cognitive health.
2. Omega 3 fatty acids
Fish oil is one of the best foods for our brain, as are nuts, avocados or any other type of food rich in omega 3 fatty acids.
- This type of natural element improves cognitive function, takes care of our heart and prevents age-related neurodegeneration.
- It never hurts to make a change in our diet and introduce foods or vitamin supplements where omega 3 is present.
3. The relationship between aspirin and brain health
- Aspirin, taken in small amounts and from a certain age, protects brain cells.
- Acetylsalicylic acid (ASA) reduces muscle and joint inflammation and, in addition, prevents brain degeneration and neuron death.
- Aspirin thins the blood and therefore helps us to prevent both heart attacks and strokes.
- It’s not about starting to take one aspirin a day on your own. Consult your doctor before making any decisions.
4. Exercise and the Mediterranean diet
A good diet, in addition to including omega 3 fatty acids, should be rich in fiber, fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats and oilseeds.
- Something as simple as drinking a small glass of red wine every day takes care of our heart and brain health.
- The Mediterranean diet is the best food reference we can apply in our lives.
- Olive oil, rice and leaving aside processed foods to consume seasonal and as natural ones as possible, suppose to get a wonderful source of minerals, vitamins and antioxidants wonderful for our health.
- Also, remember: to take maximum care of our quality of life and prevent dementia, exercise is essential.
Say yes to the habits that will keep you active every day, yes to walking, swimming, dancing, cycling, climbing stairs and always opt for a walk instead of a whole afternoon watching television.
5. If you want to prevent dementia, take care of your heart
Throughout the article we emphasize all the points that help us take care of the brain, facilitate its neuronal connectivity, its agility, and get the nutrients that prevent the degeneration associated with the passage of time.
Now, there is a factor that we cannot overlook: if we don’t take care of the heart, the brain, little by little, also loses strength, health, stamina…
That is why it is essential to be aware of the following indicators:
- Control your cholesterol levels.
- Regulate your blood sugar level.
- Take care of your blood pressure.
- Avoid being overweight.
Last but not least, it is essential that you manage the emotional world that often causes us so much trouble.
Stress and anxiety are great enemies of the brain and heart.
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