It is never too early to be concerned for your mental well-being. According to an article in The Huffington Post, by the year 2030, 615,000 people are said to be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. By 2050, that annual number is expected to be just under 1 million, with someone developing Alzheimer’s every 33 seconds.
Those are very harrowing statistics. Thankfully, there are things that we can do to hopefully decrease those numbers.
Dr. Cindy Haines shares six lifestyle changes to protect your brainpower:
- Avoid Other Chronic Conditions – People with other chronic conditions, like diabetes, are about twice as likely to develop dementia. Obesity, high cholesterol and high blood pressure are all potentially chronic problems that you can control.
- Try Mediterranean Food – The Mediterranean diet is gaining popularity in its ability to help prevent dementia. The diet consists of fruits and vegetables, whole-grain bread and other whole-grain foods, beans, seeds and nuts.
- Stay Active – Regular exercise keeps your blood vessels healthy, which can help prevent vascular dementia and other forms of Alzheimer’s.
- Avoid Tobacco Smoke – Smoking has been proven to increase the risk of Alzheimer’s. Furthermore, new research is suggesting that simply being exposed to tobacco smoke can also increase that risk, so avoiding it altogether is the best bet.
- Keep Your Brain Busy and Stay Socially Engaged – Studies have shown that people who keep their brains active are less likely to develop dementia. Activities like crossword puzzles and reading increase your cognitive reserve.
- Keep an Eye on Depression – Currently, there still needs to be more research involving exactly how depression and dementia are linked, but studies show that there is a strong connection between the two.
As mentioned, it is important to start taking precautions to prevent dementia, no matter your age.