Dementia is a condition in which various functional disorders that interfere with daily life appear due to the loss or decline of intellectual ability and memory due to damage to brain function. It does not mean a disease in itself, but contains the comprehensive meaning of a state in which cognitive function is impaired due to various factors such as acquired trauma or disease, and it is not possible to maintain the standard of living. Diseases that cause dementia can be broadly classified into Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia, and other degenerative brain diseases can be caused by various causative diseases such as brain tumors, metabolic diseases, and infectious diseases. In addition, several factors, such as poor nutrition and lack of sleep, excessive drinking habits, and smoking, are also known to affect the occurrence.
Although it is known that there is no reliable method and treatment method to prevent the occurrence of dementia in advance, it is said that prevention can help by improving the environmental factors that aggravate the symptoms and implementing regular lifestyle habits. In particular, in the case of vascular dementia, which is caused by the blockage of the blood vessel wall, which cuts off the supply of oxygen and nutrients, and this results in damage to brain cells, it is known that the progression can be prevented and symptoms can be improved with continuous effort. Now, let’s take a look at the various lifestyle habits that help prevent dementia one by one.
Habits to help prevent dementia
1. steady exercise
It is known that choosing the right exercise for you and exercising regularly can help prevent dementia. Regular exercise activates blood circulation in the brain and at the same time helps to maintain the normal function of nerve cells, and is said to be effective in preventing memory loss due to aging. It is also known that such regular exercise helps suppress the secretion of stress hormones that negatively affect memory.
It is said that it is a good way to do various exercises such as walking, biking, swimming, and aerobics at least 3 times a week and for at least 20 minutes at a time, regularly and consistently.
2. Brain Activity
Regular activities that stimulate the brain and help increase flexibility are also said to help prevent dementia. Activities such as learning a new language or instrument, reading, writing, crossword puzzles, number puzzle games, watching movies and performances, etc., are helpful because they stimulate brain cells and increase brain flexibility. it is said to be In addition, various hobbies such as drawing, calligraphy, and embroidery, which use a lot of hands, are said to help prevent dementia.
3. Controlling alcohol consumption and quitting smoking
Excessive drinking causes cognitive decline and damage to brain cells. Smoking is also a factor that affects brain health and contributes to the development of dementia. It is important to quit smoking as there are statistics that smokers are 1.59 times more likely to develop dementia than nonsmokers.
4. Social activities
Being active in social and interpersonal relationships is also said to help prevent dementia. Various activities such as having fun talking with people and smiling are said to prevent memory loss and have the effect of activating brain activity. Therefore, it is said that being active by participating in meetings with family, acquaintances, friends, and clubs with hobbies is effective in preventing dementia.
5. Healthy Eating
In order to prevent dementia, it is important not to skip meals and to continue to eat a diet that contains various vitamins and minerals in a balanced way. In particular, it is very important to regularly consume fish such as mackerel, saury and salmon, nuts such as walnuts and almonds, and olive oil, which are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are effective in preventing dementia. In addition, blueberries, spinach, kale, chard, tomatoes, avocados, plums, and strawberries, which are rich in various antioxidants, are known to help prevent dementia.
On the other hand, it is recommended to avoid excessive consumption of animal-based saturated fats, fatty foods, and foods containing excessive sugar. In particular, excessive intake of these foods is a major factor affecting the worsening of symptoms such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and hyperlipidemia, which are diseases deeply related to dementia, so it is recommended to control intake.
6. Get enough sleep
If you do not get enough sleep at night, the secretion of melatonin decreases, which causes the formation of amyloid plaques that exist in the brain and near cells of the cerebrovascular system and affect the development of dementia. Insufficient sleep also adversely affects concentration and memory loss, so it is important to ensure that you get enough sleep for at least 7-8 hours a day. It is also important to have a habit of going to bed at the same time every day, as changing your sleeping time every time will interfere with your ability to get a good night’s sleep.