Your risk of developing dementia increases as you age. Dementia progresses with time. Some people experience a loss of their mental faculties rapidly while others do so more gradually. Not everyone develops dementia, and there are things you can do to help prevent it.
At North Texas Internal Medicine Specialists in Plano, Texas, the team guided by Mihaela Perijoc, MD, MHA, can help you take the necessary action to decrease your chance of developing this debilitating degenerative condition. It’s not always clear why dementia develops, so it can be difficult to prevent, but you can try some health-promoting behaviors to ensure you age gracefully.
Eat a diet that contains lots of plant foods, including berries, nuts, beans, whole grains, and fresh vegetables — especially green leafy varieties. Focus on fish, poultry, and olive oil, limiting red meat and unhealthy fats. Even a moderate intake of wine can be part of a healthy eating plan that promotes brain health.
This diet provides a variety of important brain-protecting nutrients and can help keep your weight in a healthy range, another important step in preventing dementia. Being overweight or obese is a risk factor for many health problems as you age, including dementia.
If you have high blood pressure, diabetes, or high cholesterol, it’s important to keep these in check. The team at North Texas Internal Medicine Specialists can help you stay on top of managing chronic conditions so you don’t experience unwanted side effects, including dementia.
If you smoke, stop. Smoking compromises the health of many of your systems, including your brain. If you need help, ask our team about effective strategies.
Add more physical activity to your day, too. You don’t have to become a marathon runner; 30 minutes of fast-paced walking or another activity you enjoy is enough to help your brain and body stay healthy.
Get involved in a hobby. You may try dancing, a book club, or solving crossword puzzles. Any of these activities keeps your neurons firing and helps you stay mentally alert. Plus, such activities heighten your memory, speed of information processing, and reasoning abilities.
Social interaction is critical to your mental health. Seek out support at your church, YMCA, or neighborhood organization. Keeping busy and making yourself needed helps you stay mentally healthy.
A study from the National Institute of Health showed that just 10 minutes of daily social interaction helped people stay cognitively sharp as they aged. People with satisfying family and social relationships tend to live longer and be more healthy.
Just the simple act of engaging in conversation requires your brain to work in multiple ways so it keeps firing and active. And social interaction means more than just living with family; it means actively engaging in social activities.
If you’re getting older and you’re concerned about your mental alertness and acuity, contact the providers at North Texas Internal Medicine Specialists. We help you stay in optimal health as you age, both physically and mentally. Call for an appointment, or book a consultation using this website.