It is well known that our mental abilities inevitably decline with aging. We would all like to see this happen as soon as possible and stay mentally young and healthy for a long time. Dementia and Alzheimer’s are not a necessary part of aging, but a disease whose occurrence can be affected by taking care of ourselves and our health.
Dementia is not a specific disease, it is a generic term that describes a wide range of symptoms associated with memory impairment and other thinking skills.
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia that causes problems with the person’s memory, thinking and behavior. Symptoms usually manifest slowly and worsen over time until they become severe enough to compromise the patient’s daily functioning. It is most commonly seen in people over 65, but can also occur in significantly younger people.
Many experts believe that Alzheimer’s disease occurs as a result of complex interactions between genes and risk factors. Age, family history, inheritance, genetic predisposition are risk factors we cannot change. However, researchers also find many other risk factors associated with impaired mental capacity and the development of Alzheimer’s disease that can be influenced, generally, by leading a healthy life.
Injuries to the head, and especially to serious ones, which have led to loss of consciousness or recurrent injury can be a serious link to a future risk factor for the disease.
The heart-to-head connection is especially interesting, so there are numerous works that link a healthy heart to a healthy brain. The risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia, as well as potentiation of age-related changes, increases if there are heart and blood vessel diseases, including high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes, high cholesterol, obesity. Also, studies show that atherosclerotic blood vessels (plaques, thickening, decreased elasticity) become more susceptible to manifesting brain diseases after stroke or other damage.
Clearly, these factors are actually reduced by poor cerebral circulation and poor blood and oxygen supply to the brain, leading to poor blood flow to the brain.
Other potentially risk factors for impaired brain function, mental capacity and possibly manifestation of dementia are various toxic substances, whether from food and beverages or from the environment, such as traces of heavy metals, pesticides, herbicides.
There are papers showing the link between the use of the widely used artificial aspartame sweetener, which generates free radicals and promotes the extinction of brain cells. Foods containing higher amounts of fructose or sucrose fruit sugar are similar.
Exposure to cellphone electromagnetic radiation weakens the blood-brain barrier so that it becomes permeable to many harmful substances. These radiation can also cause changes in DNA structure. So turn off your cellphone at least on weekends.
ALL THIS MAKES MUCH DISCONTINUING, ISN’T IT? BUT YOU CAN DO IT NOW AND YOURSELF!
Heads up! Avoid situations where you can injure your head and brain as this increases your risk of cognitive decline and dementia. Prevent falls and injuries: Use a seat-belt in your car, helmet if cycling or contact sports.
Regular cardiovascular exercises speed up the heart and increase blood and oxygen supply to the brain. Of course, no one thinks you should run a marathon, it is a moderate physical activity that causes you to sweat slightly and feel no disturbing symptoms (loss of breath, chest pain, arm, nausea or the like). Consult a cardiologist. The usual recommendation is a quick walk of 30 to 45 minutes a day, a minimum of 3-4 times a week.
Keep your heart adjusted to your diet. There are two widely accepted diets, the DASH (Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension) and the Mediterranean Diet.
Both are reduced to higher intakes of vegetables and fruits, with limited daily intakes of saturated fats, exclude trans fats, and recommend the use of unsaturated fats derived from plant foods.
Follow your heart! Records show that risk factors for cardiovascular disease and stroke: obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes have a negative impact on cognitive health. Taking care of your heart also takes care of your brain.
Quit smoking – Quitting smoking can reduce the risk of cognitive decline to the level of non-smokers.
Sleep enough – insomnia triggers a problem with memory and thinking; sleep with a glass of warm milk, with a book and no television.
VEGETABLE AND MINERAL NEURONUTRIENTS AS YOUR ALLERGEN IN PRESERVING HEALTH AND MENTAL FRESHNESS
Use dietary supplements that can help with brain nutrition, focus, short-term and long-term memory as they improve oxygen and nutrient supply to brain tissue.
Preparations containing standardized dry leaf extracts of the Ginkgo biloba plant have been used traditionally for years. The mechanism of action has not yet been fully elucidated, but is thought to protect brain cells from damage directly, increasing blood flow and indirectly, by neutralizing free radicals. They also improve impaired cognitive function and raise the quality of life in cases of mild dementia. They are used for mild to moderate cerebrovascular insufficiency. They help preserve memory and other mental performance conditioned by age; contribute to mental health by maintaining focus, short-term memory during stress, as well as long-term memory and clear thinking.
Preparations containing standardized Golden Root Extracts, i. Rhodiola rosea plants are also very suitable for improving mental performance even in younger people. These preparations are known adaptogens, contribute to easier adaptation of the body to emotional stress or physical exertion, stimulate the nervous system. They improve blood circulation in the brain and supply cells with oxygen and other nutrients, contributing to the preservation of cognitive function and mental performance.
Siberian chokeberry and other red berries (blueberries, raspberries, cranberries …) can be consumed fresh, dried or in the form of standardized dietary supplements due to the high content of polyphenols, especially anthocyanins, which are responsible for the antioxidant activity of fruits and products derived from them. Aronia fruit, as well as the preparations derived from it, are thought to have the highest antioxidant potential as well as the free radical binding capacity compared to other similar red fruits. As many researchers directly relate the oxidative stress of the body to the onset of a variety of chronic diseases (cardiovascular, metabolic, autoimmune), it is believed that regular intake of high-polyphenol aronia preparations will in the long run contribute to a better overall health and mental health.
Zinc, pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), as well as omega-3 fatty acids (DHA) when taken at the recommended daily intake have a positive effect on normal brain function and mental performance.
Now you are certainly not that discouraged anymore because you see that there are a number of measures you can take on your own to preserve your vitality and health for as long as possible and to keep your brain working as a clock in later years. And let’s not forget: when purchasing these, as well as all other dietary supplements, always consult your pharmacist about recommended daily intakes, or nutritional reference values (NRVs), as well as any interactions with the medicines you are already using.
Also, if you are interested in boosting other brain abilities, you should check out ”ELECTRICITY CAN BOOST YOUR BRAIN” , ‘‘3 SIMPLE EXERCISES TO BOOST YOUR CONCENTRATION”, ”How to Build Your Focus Using Simple Techniques”
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