Strategies for Preventing Dementia
Discover 5 strategies that can help prevent mental decline at any age
Are you worried about staying mentally sharp as you age? Whether you are concerned about minor “senior moments” like forgetting a colleague’s name or where you put your glasses, or you fear an eventual slip into dementia, you are not powerless. You can protect yourself by making some relatively simple changes in your habits that will support your brain health as you age.
Here are 5 strategies you can start using right now. Research has shown that these strategies can be effective in preventing dementia even if you have already started to notice some “brain fog” clouding your mind and your memory. You may be able to maintain or even improve your mental function if you:
The typical American diet is full of unhealthy foods that have a negative impact on the body. If your diet is high in sugar and unhealthy fats with few fruits or vegetables, you can develop chronic inflammation. Inflammation can affect many systems in the body, including the brain. To protect yourself, switch to a diet that is low in sugar (especially added sugars) and features more fresh, antioxidant-rich foods, such as a Mediterranean diet or a vegetarian diet. Both these diets have been linked to better brain volume, cognition, and memory. You can also add supplements to your diet, such as antioxidants like glutathione or alpha lipoic acid to fight inflammation or krill oil to supply the omega-3s your brain needs for fuel.
You need to exercise your brain and body to help prevent dementia. Physical exercise helps stimulate blood flow to the brain so cells get more oxygen and nutrients, helping promote new growth. Keeping trim also prevents fatty tissue from causing more oxidative stress in the body, which would otherwise contribute to inflammation. Exercising your mental muscles by learning a new language or skill is also important for forging new neural connections and keeping your brain young.
The brain uses about 20 percent of the energy your body needs in a day. This involves various metabolic processes that create waste products, which must be removed during sleep in order to prevent damage to the brain. It’s important to get 7 to 8 hours of sleep per night to ensure your body has enough time to flush harmful waste products from your brain. There are many strategies that can help promote better sleep, but if you don’t have luck with basic tips like avoiding electronics at night and sleeping in a quiet, dark, cool place, you may need to address hormone imbalance in order to restore your natural circadian rhythms.
Stress is extremely damaging to all systems in the body, including the brain. Chronic stress causes premature aging at a cellular level. To prevent this, create a meditation or mindfulness routine for yourself that will help quiet worry, anxiety, and stress and promote better health.
Balance Your Hormones
Research suggests that unhealthy hormone levels play a role in the development of dementia and Alzheimer’s. Women’s hormones will become unbalanced at menopause, while men can begin experiencing declines in testosterone that will affect their overall hormone balance and their memory much sooner—sometimes as early as age 30. It is highly advisable to have your hormone levels checked and consider hormone replacement therapy to restore balance and help support the effectiveness of the other strategies you are employing to help protect your brain as you age.
To learn more about Renew Youth’s treatment options for memory loss and brain fog, contact us today.