Everyday Habits That Can Lead to Dementia, Experts Say – Eat This, Not That

Dementia is a common and serious brain disorder that mostly affects people over the age of 65 and symptoms include problems with memory, getting lost in a familiar place, decreased ability to make good decisions, and more. position brain cells and w. is caused by damage toThere are many factors that increase the chances of getting dementia such as age, severe head injury and Parkinson’s disease, there are ways to help reduce the risk. Eat This, Not That! spoke with health With Dr. Tommy Mitchell, a Board-Certified Family Physician Holistic Wellness Strategies Those who share everyday habits that can lead to dementia. Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don’t forget to check out these Sure Signs You’ve Already Had COVID,

Older man with dementia talking to doctor
Shutterstock/Robert Kenschke

Dr. Mitchell explains, “Dementia is a broad category of brain diseases that cause a long-term and often gradual decrease in the ability to think and remember. May have trouble keeping up with the past, or names of people or places. They may also have difficulty with abstract concepts such as time or numbers. Symptoms of dementia vary from person to person and may change over time. The early symptoms of dementia are often subtle and can easily be mistaken for normal aging. However, as the disease progresses, symptoms become more pronounced and may eventually interfere with daily activities. No one tests dementia. There is no cure for dementia, and the diagnosis is usually made based on a combination of medical history, physical examination, cognitive testing, and brain imaging. There is currently no cure for dementia, but treatments available to manage symptoms and can help improve quality of life .”

mature walking outdoors

Dr. Mitchell tells us, “Dementia is a debilitating condition that can rob people of their memories, independence, and communication abilities. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, more than 5 million Americans are currently living with dementia, and that number is expected to increase to about 14 million by 2050. Fortunately, there are choices you can make now that will reduce your chances of getting dementia. One of the most important things you can do is to stay physically active. Exercise helps keep your brain healthy and improves blood flow to the brain. It will help if you also aim to eat a healthy diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. These nutrient-rich foods help protect the brain from damage. Finally, it will help if you make an effort to socialize and stay connected with the world around you. Stimulating your brain makes your brain sharper and lowers your risk of dementia.”

Hand stubbled cigarette in a transparent ashtray on a wooden table

“People who smoke cigarettes are more likely to develop dementia than non-smokers,” says Dr. Mitchell. “It’s not clear exactly how smoking increases risk, but it may be due to the effects of smoking on the brain. Smoking damages blood vessels and reduces blood flow to the brain. This leads to the build-up of plaques and tangles. May cause hallucinations, a characteristic of Alzheimer’s disease. Cigarette smoke also contains harmful chemicals that can damage brain cells. In addition, smoking increases levels of inflammation in the body, which has been linked to dementia. If you’re concerned about your risk of dementia, quitting smoking is one of the best things you can do to protect your brain health.”

woman eating pizza in bed
shutterstock / dousefloor

According to Dr. Mitchell, “Poor diet is a risk factor for dementia, especially for people who are already at risk for the condition. There are several ways in which a poor diet can increase the risk of dementia. First, a poor diet can lead to deficiencies in essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. These deficiencies can damage the brain and lead to cognitive decline. Second, a poor diet can lead to chronic inflammation. , which is associated with cognitive decline and dementia. Lastly, poor diet is often associated with other risk factors for dementia, such as obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes. Although there is no sure way to prevent dementia, eating a healthy diet is One of the best ways to reduce your risk.

Diets high in sugar and processed foods have been linked to an increased risk of dementia. Eating a healthy, balanced diet is essential to maintaining cognitive function.”

Tired senior Hispanic man sleeping on dark blue sofa, takes afternoon nap in the living room

Dr. Mitchell shares, “Lack of exercise is an important risk factor for the development of dementia. There are several possible explanations for how exercise reduces the risk of dementia., Physical activity increases levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a protein that promotes neuron growth and protects existing nerve cells from damage. Exercise also helps improve blood flow and reduce inflammation throughout the body, which is essential for maintaining cognitive health. Additionally, exercise has been shown to reduce the risk of other conditions that can lead to dementia, such as heart disease and diabetes.

It is clear from this new information that there are many reasons to make exercise a part of your daily routine. Even though you may not be at risk of dementia, regular physical activity can provide many other benefits for your health and well-being. So get up and move on—your brain will thank you for it!”


“Social interaction plays an essential role in cognitive health,” Dr. Mitchell emphasizes. “People who have little social interaction have a higher risk of developing dementia. One theory is that social interaction helps keep the mind active and engaged. People who regularly interact with others are more likely to engage in mentally stimulating activities, such as conversation, problem-solving, and card games. This stimulation helps keep the brain active and may delay the onset of dementia. In addition, social interaction may help reduce stress levels. High levels of stress have been linked to an increased risk of dementia. By interacting with others, we release feel-good hormones such as oxytocin, which reduce stress. and improve our overall mood. In this way, social interaction may help protect the brain from the harmful effects of chronic stress.”

drinking wine

Dr. Mitchell says, “Alcohol consumption is a risk factor for the development of dementia. Dementia is an umbrella term for symptoms that result in impaired cognitive function, such as memory loss and difficulty with problem-solving and executive function. While it is known that heavy alcohol consumption can lead to brain damage and cognitive decline, Research has also shown that even moderate alcohol consumption can increase your risk of developing dementia., One theory is that alcohol damages the hippocampus, an important area of ​​the brain involved in memory formation. Alcohol also interferes with the body’s ability to absorb thiamine, which is essential for nerve function. This can lead to Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome, which can cause confusion, memory problems, and vision changes.

Additionally, alcohol increases inflammation throughout the body, including the brain. This inflammation can contribute to cognitive decline and dementia. Therefore, it is essential to be aware of the risks associated with alcohol consumption, especially as you age. In addition, heavy drinking should be avoided, and even moderate drinking should be limited to reduce your risk of dementia. Alcohol abuse has been linked to an increased risk of dementia, so it is important to drink it in moderation.”

Dr. Mitchell states that this “does not constitute medical advice and by no means are these answers comprehensive. Rather, it is intended to encourage discussion about health options.”

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