Every brain and its mental functions change with age. It is common for mental abilities to decline and it's the most feared consequence of aging. However, cognitive impairment is evitable.
Brainy activities stimulate new connections between neurons and even generate new cells. Any mentally stimulating activity should help to build up our brain. Read and challenge your mind by doing word puzzles and math problems.
Using our muscles definitely helps our mind. Exercise also fosters the development of new nerve cells (neurons) and increases the connections between them. This results in cognitive structures that are more efficient which translates into higher performance in aging. We all know that exercise lowers blood pressure in normal conditions, improves cholesterol and reduces mental stress, all of which can help -besides our heart- our brain.
Good nutrition can help our mind as well as our body. Here are some specifics: Keep your calories in check, eat the right foods by reducing the consumption of saturated fat and trans-fatty acids. Bear in mind that folic acid, B6, and B12 vitamins have been proven to help human beings to reduce the risk of dementia. Some of the best sources of these three vitamins are cereals, grains, and leafy green vegetables.
High blood pressure increases the risk of mental decline in older people. To do so, we encourage you to exercise regularly, limit alcohol to two drinks a day and eat right. Very simple.
Diabetes is well known to be one of the most common risk factor for dementia. We can control the diabetes by eating right, and exercising regularly. However, if blood sugar still stays high, medication might be required to achieve good control.
High levels of "bad cholesterol" increase the risk of dementia, as well as low levels of "good cholesterol" does. Diet, exercise, weight control and giving up smoking would be a great way to improve our level of cholesterol.
Long term use of aspirin may reduce the risk of dementia by 10%–55%. This is just a result of a preliminary research, since experts are not ready to recommend aspirin consumption for controlling dementia.
Tobacco in all its forms has no benefit for age related memory loss, and most likely no benefit for anything that fall into "healthy mind".
Some studies imply that having two cups of good red wine is beneficial for our heart; going beyond is no beneficial al all, and much less for keeping you away from dementia. Some studies have linked low-dose alcohol with a reduced risk of dementia in older adults, which does not mean that we should drink to cure any symptom of dementia.
People who suffer from anxiety and depression tend to score poorly on cognitive function tests, like an IQ test. Nevertheless, low scores not necessarily predict an increased risk of loss of memory in old age.
Strong social ties have been associated with lower blood pressure and longer life expectancies.
Sleeping processes recharge our mental batteries. Who hasn't suffer lack of concentration, coordination and memory after a bad night sleep?