Many believe that degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and dementia are completely unpreventable. But that just isn’t the case.
There are many precautions that you can take now to prevent dementia in the future. Eating the right food, getting a healthy amount of exercise, and keeping your brain active are all proven ways to both prevent dementia and keep you healthy.
Maintaining your relationships and remembering to relax are also excellent ways to keep yourself healthy and decrease your risk of developing dementia in the future.
1. Eat Brain Food
One of the best ways to keep your brain healthy is to eat brain food. What is brain food? The best food for your brain is food that is rich in omega-3 fatty acids. This includes different types of fish (salmon, albacore tuna, and trout) as well as nuts (walnuts). Fruits and veggies are also great for your brain.
2. Get Daily Aerobic Exercise
Research has also shown that daily exercise, particularly aerobic exercise, is excellent for brain health. One study has shown that individuals who exercised while middle-aged had a decreased risk of developing dementia later in life. Aerobic exercise, such as running, is an easy way to engage in cardio, be outdoors, and benefit your heart along with your brain.
3. Engage Your Mind
In addition to getting exercise, you should also remember to engage and exercise your mind. Activities such as meditation, crossword puzzles, yoga, or other brain exercises are found to reduce your chances of declining brain function as you age. Remember that just as physical exercise is healthy for your body, mental exercises lead to good health for your brain. Choose an activity that both stimulates your mind and relaxes you.
4. Retire Later
A recent study has shown that one way to prevent dementia is to retire later in life and continue working as long as possible. Conducted in France, this study surveyed almost 500,000 people. It found that with each additional year of working before retirement, individuals can decrease their risk for dementia by 3.2%. The reason that working longer can decrease your risk of dementia is directly connected to the need to exercise your brain. Continuing to work keeps your brain more active and engaged, which makes it much less likely for you to lose cognitive function.
5. Maintain Connections
Finally, research has also shown that maintaining connections and relationships with your family and friends will decrease your risk of developing dementia later in life. When you engage in social activities, you lower your level of stress and avoid depression. This maintains the connections between the cells in your brain, which greatly lowers your risk for dementia. You can also benefit your brain by traveling, becoming a volunteer, or taking part in a club or mutual activity.