Dementia is probably one of your most serious concerns as you age. The prospect of developing dementia can be scary, especially if you know somebody who struggles with it. However, research indicates there are ways to slow down dementia progression if you have been diagnosed. The following tips can help to boost your brain health, reduce your risk of dementia or delay its onset.
A Healthy Diet
A change in your diet can prevent you from developing dementia. Add brain-healthy food such as omega-3 fats. They contain docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) which helps to reduce the risk of cognitive decline. Salmon, tuna, sardines, and mackerel are some good sources of omega-3 fats. If you haven’t added them to your meal plan yet, it’s time to do so.
Your diet isn’t complete without fruit and green leafy vegetables such as berries, kale, and spinach. They are loaded with vitamins, nutrients, and antioxidants that are beneficial to your overall health. Do your best to cook at home as much as possible. That way, you can ensure you’re eating the freshest ingredients without any additives.
Take note to also limit your alcohol consumption. Drinking in moderation is fine but too much alcohol is harmful to your brain. It might even increase your risk of developing dementia.
Regular exercise can reduce your risk of developing dementia or slow down its progress if you’ve been diagnosed. For a start, try to get at least a few hours of exercise every week. Go for a walk in the park or take a cooling swim in the pool. You can also take up yoga or tai chi. Don’t rush to start an intensive exercise program especially if you haven’t been working out for some time. Start with simple exercises to build up your momentum and stamina.
Improve Your Sleep Quality
Studies suggest that quality sleep helps to wash out toxins from your brain. On the other hand, a lack of sleep or poor sleep quality is bad for your brain health. It slows down your thinking and disrupts your mood. Sleep deprivation has also been linked to the development of dementia. Here are some ways to improve your sleep:
- Create a relaxing atmosphere: Play some white noise or soothing music to unwind yourself. Dim the lights, take a warm bath, or do some simple stretches to loosen up those tight muscles.
- Remove distractions: Keep mobile phones, laptops, and the television away. You can check that email or text message tomorrow.
- Clear your mind: If anxiety or stress is keeping you awake, try to do some light reading to free your mind.
Increase Your Social Engagement
This doesn’t mean you have to go to parties and clubs. Occasionally having a physical interaction with friends or even your neighbor is a good social activity. Plan monthly outings with family members, join a local tour, or take up a course to meet new friends. Another good way is volunteering at your local community center. You can do good deeds and interact with others at the same time.