How to reduce your risk of dementia?

Dementia is a condition that affects a number of elderly people. Common symptoms of dementia include loss of short term memory, confusion, personality changes and apathy. Unfortunately, there is no cure for dementia and treatment only aims at improving a person’s quality of life. When it comes to dementia, some risk factors like age, genetics, gender etc cannot be changed but by following a healthy lifestyle you can reduce part of your risk of suffering from this syndrome. Here are a few tips.

Pay attention to your diet
Eating the right food can strengthen your neural connections and keep your brain healthy. Reduce your salt intake as excessive salt intake can increase blood pressure and the risk of several types of dementia. Also, cut down on foods rich in saturated fats. Instead have a diet that is rich in fibre with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables.

Maintain a healthy BMI
Being overweight or obese can increase your risk of suffering from a number of health conditions such as blood pressure which in turn increase the risk of dementia. BMI refers to body mass index which can be defined as your body fat levels with relation to your height and weight. If you have a BMI higher than 25 you should consider losing weight to reduce your risk of dementia.

Regular exercise not only keeps you physically healthy, it also keeps you mentally healthy. A healthy BMI and blood pressure level, low cholesterol levels and healthy circulatory system are some of the benefits of regular exercise that can reduce your risk of dementia. Ideally, you should aim for a minimum of two and a half hours of moderate exercise every week.

Skip the alcohol
Alcohol not only affects your liver but can also increase your blood pressure and cholesterol levels which in turn increase your risk of dementia in your later years. If you cannot abstain from alcohol, ensure that you drink within the limits recommended by doctors. Ideally, men should not drink more than3-4 units of alcohol a day and women should limit their alcohol intake to 2-3 units a day.

Quit smoking
Smoking can block your arteries and narrow them. As a result, it can increase your blood pressure and risk of cardiovascular diseases and dementia.

Exercise your brain
Along with your body, you should also exercise your brain to keep it healthy. Some of the ways to keep your brain healthy include reading, solving crossword puzzles or learning something new like a different language. Apart from boosting your brain power, this sort of mental exercise can also keep you socially engaged and hence lower your risk of dementia.

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