Plus other simple ways to prevent cognitive decline
A recent 2020 report from the Alzheimer Association, gives more alarming stats that Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias are on the rise and need more serious attention. The World Health Organization estimates there are about 50 million people across the globe living with dementia, with nearly 10 million cases being added each year.
The good news is that almost half of all dementia cases can be attributed to a small number of modifiable lifestyle risk factors, including smoking, obesity, and physical inactivity.
Here are 4 simple adjustments to your lifestyle that can make a lifelong impact on your well-being.
Changing what you eat can be one of the easiest goals to tackle first. Plenty of research has been conducted on the various health benefits that a Mediterranean diet can offer—and this includes dementia prevention. Health experts continue to praise eating a Mediterranean meal plan. Harvard Health Publications notes that following doing so can ward off heart attack, stroke, and premature death, in addition to reducing your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, and various types of cancer.
Not only is the Mediterranean way of eating linked to good health, it also tastes great. Primarily based on whole grains, legumes, vegetables, fresh fish, fresh fruit, olive oil and nuts, the Mediterranean diet has been praised by health officials as a diet rich in the nutrients that we all need.
You also don’t need to alter your complete eating habits. There are big benefits in consuming good olive oil. Studies have found that those who consumed more olive oil had significantly better performance in fluency and memory tasks.
Diets that improve heart health and combat diabetes—high in foods like nuts, vegetables, fiber-rich foods, and less fatty meats like chicken—may be important in preventing Alzheimer disease.
Moderate wine consumption is also a part of the Mediterranean diet and has shown to have benefits. Of course before making any change in your diet, you should consult your physician if you have any medical concerns.
Everyone knows exercise is beneficial. Research suggests that exercise enhances neurotrophin production and signaling, and improves blood flow to the brain. Studies also show that exercise can temper inflammatory processes and offer various other benefits.
Study researchers found that the duration of physical activity was the best indicator of cognitive improvement, with participants who exercised for 30 minutes or more on a regular basis having the lowest risks of cognitive decline.
Stress causing a long list of health issues. Lowering stress levels with meditation may be an effective intervention for improving cognitive function.
Studies show that the practice of long-term meditation may slow the age-related decline of a number of cognitive functions, according to researchers.
Many people have a hard time relaxing, but finding a peaceful spot, clearing your mind, and leaving the world behind for just 20 minutes is worth the time. Research suggests it has a positive impact on the parts of your brain most related to cognitive impairment and Alzheimer disease.
Many people feel they can get by on little sleep, but they are ignoring the long term consequences. According to a number of recent studies, getting regular “deep sleep” can help protect against Alzheimer disease.
“There is something about this deep sleep that is helping protect you,” said Matthew Walker, PhD, a professor of neuroscience and psychology at the University of California, Berkeley, in a recent interview on NPR. For decades, researchers have observed the link between poor sleep and long-term problems with memory and thinking. “We are now learning that there is a significant relationship between sleep and dementia, particularly Alzheimer’s disease,” he said.
For much more on these topics, read: Simple ways to prevent cognitive decline on MDLinx