What is Dementia?
Dementia is a general term (not a specific disease) that describes a group of symptoms which negatively impacts memory severe enough to interfere with daily life.
Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia with 60-80% of cases, while Vascular Dementia is the second most common dementia type. Nevertheless, there are many other conditions that cause symptoms of dementia. As opposed to Alzheimer’s, some forms of dementia are reversible.
10 Ways to Improve your Brain Health
Maintaining your brain health is important. It means that we can remain active and stay independent. For better brain health while aging, we recommend a mix of ten lifestyle choices:
When you maintain relationships, your brain is constantly working, which encourages it to maintain functionality as you age. Staying sociable has also been proven to help maintain low blood pressure and to reduce the risk of Dementia.
Maintain an Active Social Life
Physical exercise is a powerful and essential component of a good brain-health routine. Exercise stimulates the growth of connections and nerve cells within the brain, as well as improving its supply of oxygen. Working out also reduces stress, improves heart health and lowers blood-pressure, all of which are factors that help maintain a healthy brain.
Several research studies have explored and confirmed the link between diet and brain health. In particular, the Mediterranean diet and MIND diet, which emphasize the consumption of plant-based foods, proteins and healthy fats, have been found to be the most effective diets for maintaining a healthy brain. More information about the specifics of both of these diets can be found on the MindMate App, which is free to download.
Follow a Nutrient-Rich Diet
Just like your body, your brain needs exercise too! This can come from a variety of stimulating activities which come under the umbrella of ‘brain training’, such as games, quizzes and puzzles. These activities stimulate the development of new connections between nerve cells and encourage the brain to actually create new cells. This enables the buildup of defences against future cell-loss and cognitive decline.
Train your Brain
n order to maintain brain health in later life, it’s best to avoid, or at least moderate, the consumption of substances which affect mood and cause a reaction in the brain. These include Cigarettes, alcohol and other drugs.
Each time you learn something new, new pathways are created in the brain related to the functions required of the new activity. When you are regularly learning and processing new information, new pathways are constantly being created, and this cancels out cognitive decline and preserves brain health and functionality.
Keep Learning New Things
Meditation doesn’t simply mean sitting and doing nothing. In fact, it’s a practice of focusing your brain, clearing your mind and enabling yourself to take control of how you perceive your environment, rather than letting your environment dictate your feelings. Regular meditation fights stress, increases mental focus and actively helps prevent any decline in brain health.
Emotional Health is an important part of your overall health. Being emotionally healthy means that you are in control of your thoughts, feelings and behaviors and are able to cope with your life’s challenges. It is important to keep in mind that being emotionally healthy doesn’t mean that you’re happy all the time, but means that you’re aware of your situation and able to deal with your situation and your emotions (positive or negative).
Look After Your Emotional Wellbeing
If you control your blood pressure successfully, it means that you may be able to delay, reduce the need or even avoid medication all together! Lifestyle plays a big role in improving (lowering) your blood pressure. Regular exercise, losing weight, a healthy diet, quitting smoking and reducing your stress can help to control your blood pressure.
Improve your Blood Pressure
It is important to lower your cholesterol levels, as increased cholesterol can lead to a higher risk of heart attacks and strokes. Changing your diet (reducing fat), losing a few pounds and physical exercises can help you to control your cholesterol.
Reduce your Cholesterol