Without a known cure, dementia prevention is still your only option. So, if there is no other cure, what is a senior to do to keep dementia from ever affecting his/her life?
The prevention I am talking about here deals with vascular dementia, the second most common form of brain disorders – after Alzheimer's disease.
A truly healthy diet, regular physical activity and mental activity – the three pillars of SeniorHealthSuccess – all are involved in the prevention of this devastating condition.
Let me talk about diet first.
Many seem to think – from what I'm finding in the literature - that medication and maybe crossword puzzles are the cure-all. Diet and exercise are mentioned much further down their pages.
I am convinced – along with a fast-growing number of professionals – that dementia is a diet-related disease.
You don't have to exercise daily (although you should), but you need to eat daily. And what you put in your mouth is of utmost importance when it comes to dementia prevention.
Animal meats of all kinds, including fish, have high contents of saturated fats. The Standard American Diet is heavy on nutrient-deficient meat and animal products which are a clear risk factor for brain health if consumed in larger amounts.
I have included fish, due to concerns over mercury poisoning, as an additional risk factor for dementia.
A whole foods plant-based diet, however, comes with an abundance of brain-healthy unsaturated (poly and mono) fats.
Vegetables, seeds and nuts are such foods.
I happen to love peanuts. So I'll give them a shout-out. Technically legumes, they are rich in niacin (Vitamin B3) which helps with dementia prevention.
Research shows that individuals with high niacin in their blood are believed to have the lowest risk of developing dementia or having cognitive decline. Not only that, but it improves circulation and reduces cholesterol levels.
Oh, they also provide Vitamin E, folate, potassium, zinc, magnesium, flavonoids, resveratrol, antioxidants, and of course fiber.
Note: Please, use only certified organic peanuts and peanut butter, as the conventionally grown crops are some of the most heavily pesticide- and fungicide-treated foods in America.
Foods rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, such as avocados, flax seeds and others are thought to help with forestalling dementia.
Recently published research shows that older adults with elevated blood sugar levels (even without being diabetics) are at a higher risk for dementia.
So, you may want to consume a fiber- and nutrient-rich plant-strong diet while limiting or eliminating refined carbohydrates and starches such as white flour breads and sugary sweets.
The second pillar I mentioned above, exercise, is important for various reasons also in preventing dementia.
If you exercise a minimum of 30 minutes daily, five times a week you have a good chance of maintaining a healthy weight. Being overweight often leads to diabetes (another diet-related disease) which is yet another risk factor for dementia.
Cardiovascular exercise keeps your arteries open and supple, so they can supply your brain with plenty of oxygen and vital nutrients.
Smoking leads to many bad things, including dementia. So don't smoke.
The third pillar, mental activity, describes what you might want to get involved in to fend off dementia.
And lastly, staying socially involved is considered excellent dementia prevention. You can read more about this on Social Health.
Sep 08, 14 10:58 AM
The detrimental effects of dehydration on your body and health are grave enough to warrant this special page. Here's how to prevent them
Sep 01, 14 02:11 PM
Will an anti-aging diet improve health, make you look and feel younger, and extend your life? Learn how even small changes can have great and long-lasting benefits…
Jun 28, 14 11:07 AM
The numerous health benefits of exercise shown here proof the value of continued effort – especially in your senior life. Nothing less than astonishing…
Jun 25, 14 04:00 PM
Deficiency of vitamin B12 is a troublesome problem that need not exist. Here's what you can do to prevent it from affecting you.
Jun 15, 14 04:58 PM
Stretching exercises for seniors are a crucial component of every physical workout for older adults. See how you can do them properly and safely.