With age comes memory issues. It’s common and natural as cognitive function starts deteriorating with age. But what is not normal is Alzheimer’s. You wouldn’t be worried about getting Alzheimer’s if it is not in your family. But if it has been, even a trivial instance of memory loss will get you all panicked.
Alzheimer’s doesn’t show itself until you’re in your 50s or 60s, so, should you wait until then to do something about it? No, you can adopt certain habits even in your 40s to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s. This blog will talk about those ways.
But first, why 40s?
Well, there is science behind it.
Amyloid, the first protein of the disease, can start developing in your brain in this age group. However, the presence of this protein doesn’t say for certain that you’ll be developing the disease, but the risk becomes higher. So, we must do our best to reduce the risk. Doing your best involves developing some habits that improve your cognitive function and reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s.
Eat mindfully – take certain diets which may be effective
Developing healthy eating habits goes a long way – whether it is to improve your health, and lifestyle or reduce the risk of certain diseases, including Alzheimer’s.
You must take a healthy diet, but your diet should be a little specific. MIND diet – remember it. The diet is actually an acronym and stands for Mediterranean-DASH Diet Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay.
In a study conducted in 2015, it was observed that the Alzheimer’s rate was 53 per cent lower among people who consumed the MIND diet.
The MIND diet is a blend of the Mediterranean diet and DASH diet. It usually involves a high intake of fruits throughout the day, especially berries. Some other fruits and vegetables included in the diet comprise green leafy vegetables, nuts, whole grains, and olive oil.
Your 40s are the time when you are most inactive. Neither there is exercise, nor walking distances in your routine, hence your cognitive function is most likely on the decline.
You may wonder if your physical health has anything to do with mental health. But it does, as both are interlinked on many levels.
It must be noted that reduced brain volume is one of the causes of Alzheimer’s. According to studies, people with moderate to high physical activity have been found to have larger brain volumes in areas associated with memory. These regions include the frontal lobes and hippocampus.
If you are in your 40s, it will be extremely beneficial if you include physical activity in your lifestyle. You are never too old to start exercising. However, start slow and follow a beginner’s routine. Aim to exercise for 150 minutes every week (moderate intensity activities).
Don’t forget brain exercises
Brain exercises are a no-brainer. Pun intended. Like your body, your brain requires exercises to perform its best. Brain exercises can be quite effective when it comes to boosting your brain health and cognitive functions such as concentration and memory. Brain exercises support the growth of new nerve cells which can be beneficial for improved brain health.
Brain exercises are not limited to solving rubik’s cube or Sudoku, but they can also be learning a new language or a musical instrument. At the end of the day, it’s about challenging your brain to train it to function at its best.
Take care of your heart health
The heart and the brain, they’re the two most important organs in the body. So, it is not surprising that they have something to do with each other. They work together, your heart is responsible for supplying oxygen and nutrients to your brain smoothly. If the brain doesn’t get a sufficient supply of the same, cognitive functions such as memory suffer.
Having said that, try to reduce stress, monitor your BP, cholesterol and sugar regularly, and do moderate cardiovascular exercise. Along with these, take a nutritious diet, quit smoking and limit drinking to protect and improve your heart health.
Surround yourself with people
Surprised to find this point here? What do people have to do with brain health, you may ask?
Truth be told, social engagement improves your brain health. You will be amazed to know that loneliness is associated with a higher risk of dementia and deteriorating cognitive function.
If you’re in your 40s, you may find yourself isolated given the responsibilities you may have when it comes to providing emotional and financial support for your family. But try your best to stay connected with your friends and loved ones as much as you can.
So, there you have it—your guide to navigating your 40s while preventing Alzheimer’s! Increase your physical activity, swap pakoras for brain-boosting snacks, and keep those neurons engaged and challenged. These simple tips and changes today can set the stage for sharp and improved brain health. Cheers to making your 40s the decade of brainpower and good vibes!
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