4 Tips to lower the risk of developing dementia
By 22 July 2015
There is no certain way to prevent all types of dementia. However, a healthy lifestyle can help lower your risk of developing dementia when you are older. It can also prevent cardiovascular diseases, such as strokes and heart attacks. To reduce your risk of developing dementia and other serious health conditions, it's recommended that you eat a healthy diet, maintain a healthy weight and exercise daily. Here are four tips about how to lower the risk of developing dementia.
Tip 1: Diet and dementia
A low-fat, high-fiber diet including plenty of fresh fruit, vegetables and wholegrains can help reduce the risk of some kinds of dementia.
Limiting the amount of salt in your diet to no more than six grams a day can also help. Too much salt will increase your blood pressure, which puts you at risk of developing some types of dementia. Foods that will naturally lower your blood pressure are bananas, white beans and avocados. Even chili peppers will lower your blood pressure. High cholesterol levels may also put you at risk of developing some kinds of dementia, so try to limit the amount of food you eat that is high in saturated fat, like full fat cheese, sausages and rib-eye steak.
Tip 2: How weight affects dementia risk
Being overweight can increase your blood pressure, which increases your risk of getting some kinds of dementia. The risk is higher if you are obese. The most scientific way to measure your weight is to calculate your body mass index (BMI). People with a BMI of 25-30 are overweight, and those with a BMI above 30 are obese. People with a BMI of 40 or more are morbidly obese. Try to stay low, and the change of developing dementia already decreases.
Tip 3: Exercise to reduce dementia risk
Exercising regularly will make your heart and blood circulatory system more efficient. It will also help to lower your cholesterol and keep your blood pressure at a healthy level. For most people, a minimum of 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) of moderate-intensity aerobic activity each week, such as cycling or fast walking, is recommended.
Not only physical exercise is needed, but also keeping your mind fresh and active is a good strategy to lower the chance of developing dementia. For example, try out one of our games on our brain training game page! The games where you have to use your memory a lot will be the most beneficial, such as Mentile or Drumsolo.
Tip 4: Alcohol, smoking and dementia
Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol will cause your blood pressure to rise, as well as raising the level of cholesterol in your blood. Stick to the recommended limits for alcohol consumption to reduce your risk of high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease and dementia. The recommended daily limit for alcohol consumption is three to four units of alcohol a day for men, and two to three units a day for women. Smoking can cause your arteries to narrow, which can lead to a rise in your blood pressure. It also increases your risk of developing cardiovascular diseases, cancer and dementia.
With these tips you should be able to lower the risk of developing some kinds of dementia a bit. It’s always good to live a healthy life and to train your brain regularly. We can already help you with that last part. Try out one of our games on the game page here.