Dementia is one of the most terrifying worries for older people. Dementia is not a specific disease. It’s an overall term that describes a wide range of symptoms associated with a decline in memory or other thinking skills severe enough to reduce a person’s ability to perform everyday activities.
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia, a general term for memory loss and other cognitive abilities serious enough to interfere with daily life. Alzheimer’s disease accounts for 60 to 80 percent of dementia cases. Alzheimer’s is not a normal part of aging, although the greatest known risk factor is increasing age, and the majority of people with Alzheimer’s are 65 and older.
However, there are some things that we can do to help prevent dementia. It is never too late to develop some healthy habits, so start now!
Good health habits
Get 7-8 hours of sleep at night
A lack of a good night sleep causes many significant changes in the body, and increases your risk for serious health issues, including dementia. Also, when you are sleep-deprived, your brain will release chemicals to signal hunger. This can lead to eating more, exercising less, gaining weight, and increase your risk of age-associated cognitive decline.
Have a glass of warm water when you wake
While we sleep, our body loses about 500 ml of water, so that it is necessary to refill it at the right time. Warm water brings up the body’s temperature. It is estimated that every 1oC increment in body temperature can increase the body’s basal metabolism by 10 per cent.
Eat several servings of fresh vegetables everyday
You need to eat vegetables everyday because you simply cannot find another food group that is as perfectly matched to your everyday needs. Regular consumption of vegetables has been considered to be associated with a reduced risk of dementia and age-associated cognitive decline. Also, steam or stir fry your vegetables to retain their nutrient value.
Avoid processed foods
Many of the processed foods you eat have added sugar, which supplies energy in the form of calories, and very little else – so you end up consuming more than you need. This means your body has to draw on the nutrients from the rest of your diet to process the sugar, and this can negatively affect your health and increase the risk of dementia. Processed foods also contain high amounts of salt, which affects blood pressure. Cut down on salt by using spices or herbs to season food as an alternative.
If you eat meat, go fish
If you eat meat, fish is among the healthiest foods on the planet. It is loaded with important nutrients, such as protein and vitamin D. It is also the world’s best source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are incredibly important for your body and brain.
Boost your energy and antioxidant levels with dark chocolate
Dark chocolate can help if you need an quick energy boost. Dark chocolate’s health benefits are related to naturally occurring compounds in the cocoa bean, including epicatechin (a flavonoid) and resveratrol, the former of which has both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, and is thought to help shield your nerve cells from damage.
Don’t eat at night
Eating at night may quell your hunger pains and replenish your blood sugar, but you might also experience gastrointestinal upset or risk gaining weight if you exceed your daily calorie limits. Eating at night will also throw off your body’s internal clock, making you more susceptible to ailments.
Walk at least 20 minutes each day
Studies disclose that the group of people with the highest mortality are persons who virtually never walk in their lifetime. If you want to add years to your lifespan, set aside at least 20 minutes for a daily walk. This simple habit, which can also arguably be one of the most enjoyable parts of your day, has been found to trigger an anti-aging process and even help repair old DNA.
Exercise ’till you sweat
Many illnesses begin as people accumulate toxic materials. As toxins build up, they block normal regulatory systems and can lead to the body’s loss of ability to regulate and function. Eventually, disease patterns emerge. Sweating helps to expel toxins, so you should all exercise ’till you sweat.
Manage your weight
A common feature for people who reach 100 years old is that they are not fat. Gaining a few pounds during the year may not seem like a big deal. But these pounds can add up over time. Being overweight and obesity may increase the risk of many health problems as you age, including diabetes, heart disease, cancers, and age-associated cognitive decline.
Get at least 15 minutes of sun per day
Monitored, regular sun exposure has many of benefits for our overall well-being. The human body requires adequate sun exposure to make vitamin D, which correlates with lower rates of cardiovascular disease and other ailments. Also, when sunlight strikes your skin, nitric oxide is released, which is a powerful blood pressure lowering compound.
The writer of this story is not a medical professional, and the information that is in this story has been collected from reliable sources — every precaution has been taken to ensure its accuracy. The information provided is for general information purposes only, and should not be substituted for professional health care.
Translated by Jean Chen.