Dementia describes a condition that has several different symptoms, but basically refers to a state of cognitive decline. This particular condition affects not only the person who suffers from it, but the people around them. People who have to take care of elderly parents with dementia know this condition is difficult to live with, not to mention heartbreaking.
The research into dementia and brain science is still in its infancy. There is no known cure for dementia or other similar diseases like Alzheimer’s but there are some ways to help mitigate or prevent them. Fifty percent of dementia cases are from Alzheimer’s and vascular dementia accounts for about 40 percent of instances in older adults. The six pillar for brain health can help you keep your mental abilities in check and lower your chances of dementia in the future.
Six Pillars for Brain Health
Just like your body, the health of your brain depends on many factors. There are some things that you can’t control, like the information from your DNA and genes, but there are some factors you can control that can help fight cognitive degradation. Researchers have come up with the six pillar of brain0healthy lifestyle, which are:
1. Regular exercise
2. Healthy diet
3. Mental stimulation
4. Quality sleep
5. Stress management
6. An active social life
If you notice, numbers 1 and 2, regular exercise and diet are the same things you need for a healthy body. After all, you do need to keep your body healthy to ensure you stay healthy. Regular exercise can mean as little as 30 minutes a day, 3 times a week. This is because exercise can help promote blood flow, which includes blood flow to your brain. A healthy diet, on the other hand, ensures you get the nutrients you need. You should also think about dementia-fighting foods.
Protein, for example, can give the body a lot of cysteine, an amino acid that can help increase glutathione levels, which in turn cleans up the free radicals that can speed up aging. If you are concerned about weight gain, try whey protein powder shakes. With whey protein shakes, you can get the protein you need without having to take in all the fat and calories from eating meat.
Now, the last 4 pillars – mental stimulation, quality sleep, stress management, and an active social life – are seemingly simple, but they are so important. Sleep, of course, if vital because this is the time your body and brain recharges itself and repairs any daily wear and tear. The rest, are all on you. You need to make sure that your brain gets enough exercise.
Try doing crossword puzzles and Sudoku or other puzzles to help stimulate your brain. You should also try not to stress yourself too much, as stress is not just hard on your brain but on your heart as well. Finally, being around other people can help your brain stay active and healthy. By trying to build your lifestyle around these six pillars, you are already doing all that you can to prevent dementia.
Guest Blog. Author: Gloria B. Miller graduated in 2001 from the University of Michigan with a degree in business administration. After working for her family business of Prefuel for 4 years, she decided to take a world tour for 1 year, where she discovered her love of travel and writing. She decided to go back to school and get her journalism degree from the University of Florida. After working in Washington for 2 years, she moved back to her home town of Troy to pursue a freelance writing career. You can read her blogs at http://www.energyfirst.com Follow her on Twitter @EnergyFirst