5 Ways to Stop Dementia, According to Experts
Millions of people are living with dementia–a serious brain disorder that affects one's thinking, memory and socializing skills. Signs of dementia include memory loss, difficulty speaking, repeating questions, lack of empathy, taking longer to complete routine tasks and more. It can seriously interfere in daily life and while there's no cure, there are things people can do to help prevent the disorder. "Your lifestyle matters. In fact, it's the best defense you have against chronic disease and cognitive decline," Francine Waskavitz, M.S.,CCC-SLP, IHNC Memory Health Coach tells us. Eat This, Not That Health spoke with experts who share tips for avoiding dementia so read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID.
Never Stop Learning
Waskavitz states, "Your best defense against cognitive decline is building up your cognitive reserve. Your cognitive reserve is your brain's resilience against disease, allowing your brain to function even when there is damage to some brain cells. You can build up your cognitive reserve with new learning and brain stimulation – at any age! Pick up a book, enroll in that language class, take on a new hobby. Whatever you do, just never stop learning!"
Waskavitza says, "Stress and disease are like best friends and dementia is no exception. Stress affects your hormone production and your immune system. It also affects your decision making which may lead to less sleep, poor diet choices and less engagement."
Eat Colorful Fruits and Veggies
Dr. Anthony Puopolo, Chief Medical Officer at RexMD says, "The colors of the food that many people eat tends to be in various tones of beige and brown but one way to help lower dementia risks is to eat the full color spectrum. Studies have shown that foods high in antioxidants can have a multitude of health benefits, from lowering blood pressure to increasing energy, and foods rich in these qualities tend to be colorful. Red, black and purple fruits and vegetables are loaded with antioxidants. Green vegetables such as broccoli, peas and spinach also have their share of these vital nutrients as well as others that help brain function. By limiting dairy and processed foods and substituting them with a wider array on the color spectrum, you can acquire the antioxidants and other nutritional benefits that can help prevent the onset of dementia."
Drink Green Tea
Dr. Edward Salko, Board-Certified Physician, Medical Director of PersonaLabs states, "Drinking green tea can have many cognitive benefits. The combination of L-theanine, EGCG, and caffeine improves your cognitive function significantly. As a result, ongoing studies and clinical trials are conducted to uncover the full potential of green tea, especially in preventing and treating degenerative neurological conditions like dementia."
Add Strawberries, Leafy Greens and Fish to Your Diet
Brianne Okuszka, MPPD, RDN with Mind & Memory Nutrition suggests to, "Include foods regularly that contain antioxidants, have anti-inflammatory properties, and omega- 3 fatty acids. Luckily, many everyday foods can contain these essentials such as berries, nuts/seeds, avocados, and fatty fish. Additionally, three foods have been proven to reduce dementia risk: strawberries, fish, and leafy greens. Servings include at least 1 cup of strawberries weekly, 1 serving of fish weekly, and 1 serving of leafy greens daily."