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Dementia – not a normal part of ageing

The number of people living with dementia doubles every year. As we live longer, we expect our bodies to age, but dementia is not a normal part of ageing. Dementia is a collection of symptoms that affect the ability to perform everyday activities by reducing the capacity of the brain for memory, thinking and social behaviours. It is a progressive, degenerative disease, and is the most common cause of transition in to residential aged care.

 

Preventative measures

B vitamins – low levels of folinic acid and it B12 are associated with dementia. Studies show that supplementing these vitamins slows down the loss of brain size as well as cognitive function

 

– reduce inflammation – research shows that inflammation in the brain contributes to dementia. Anti-inflammatory nutrients include turmeric, vitamins A and E and omega-3 fatty acids. The main components of an anti-inflammatory diet are an abundance of vegetables, fruit and fish

 

– eat a diet rich in antioxidants – as the brain ages, it undergoes wear and tear in what is called oxidative stress. antioxidants in our foods actually protect the brain from this damage. This is most likely the reason that a daily dose of cocoa reduces the loss of nerves in the brain, and slows the decline in dementia

 

– drink tea – regular consumption of green tea may enhance memory and mental alertness and slow brain ageing. Drinking 2-4 cups per day has proven health benefits. Although not as powerful in it’s benefits, coffee also has brain benefits when drunk in moderation (1-2 cups max per day

 

– lose weight (where needed) – mid-life obesity, especially around the middle, is associated with an increased risk of dementia

 

– regular exercise – reduces the incidence of dementia by half, compared to people who don’t exercise at all

 

– stimulate the grey cells – activities such as reading, board and card games, playing musical instruments and dancing are all associated with a reduced risk of dementia…get out and have fun!

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Image: thanks to helpguide.org

 

If you’d like some support and input in to preventative diet and lifestyle measures contact the Natural Chemist T: 1300 882303 to speak with one of our natural health experts.

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