8 ways to prevent dementia
The exact causes for Alzheimer's and other neurodegenerative diseases are unknown. But new WHO guidelines state that exercising, eating healthy, and staying mentally fit can help protect you.
Those who are overweight should definitely do something about their diet and go to the gym. Obesity is a key factor in developing dementia. More excercise improves blood circulation and makes for a healthier metabolism.
A Mediterranean-style diet
A healthy diet — rich in vegetables, salads and vegetable fats — has a positive effect on your blood vessels. Epidemiological studies show that people who lower their risk of a heart attack or stroke are also likely to develop dementia later than people eating food high on cholesterol.
Get your move on!
Physical activity puts the blood vessels to use and is therefore good against dementia. It also directly helps the nerve system: The brain ultimately controls the body and receives stimulus back from the nerves in the muscles. The ability to keep one's balance and orient oneself improves — as does the memory.
Quit that vice!
It has never been easier to quit smoking: It's prohibited almost everywhere and fewer and fewer people are lighting up. This also reduces the incentive to smoke in company. To put it bluntly: Nicotine is a nerve poison! It also increases the risk of circulatory diseases, which means less oxygen gets to the brain. And that in turn increases the dementia risk.
Alcohol is pure poison
Alcohol is a nerve agent, too. In higher doses it directly damages the brain. Even in lower concentrations it increases the risk of dementia, by increasing the risk of cardiovascular diseases and damaging essential organs.
Check your blood pressure
Keeping your blood pressure under control is an essential part of dementia prevention. Cardiovascular diseases are often linked to different forms of dementia. You can decrease your blood pressure through sports, healthy nutrition and abstaining from smoking or drinking. However, some people need to take additional medication to reach their blood pressure targets. Talk to your doctor!
Stay mentally active
Any form of mental activity keeps the brain going. But it's not just about solving puzzles or learning things by heart. Social contacts are much more important, since they are challenging and help maintain memory. So stay in touch with your friends, do things together or organize community events!
The best of all worlds: Dancing
Music, company, exercise and body control will keep you young and healthy! There is probably nothing better to prevent dementia than a regular stint on the dance floor. But success is not guaranteed, of course: Dancers can also fall ill with dementia at some point.