7 Everyday Habits That Increase Your Dementia Risk

Itís normal for brain function to decline as we age. But that doesnít mean you canít do anything about it. There are things you can do to improve brain function and lower risk of dementia.

For instance, you can use these tricks to improve short term memory. You also need to avoid habits that increase risk of dementia. Avoiding these habits will keep your brain healthy long-term and prevent forgetfulness.

1. Social Isolation

Research shows that people who lack social support have higher risk of dementia. In this study, the risk of Alzheimerís disease was more than double in lonely participants compared to participants who were not lonely.

Make an effort to spend time with family and friends. You may also want to combat depression because it causes feelings of loneliness.

2. Skimping on Veggies

Research shows that lutein, a nutrient found in green leafy vegetables can help improve memory in adults and youngsters. Kale, spinach, collard greens and broccoli are good sources of lutein. You can also get this nutrient from egg yolk.

3. Not Exercising

Exercise doesnít just prevent bone and muscle loss as we age, it also improves brain function. In a study conducted on seniors aged between 65 and 85, researchers found that exercising for 30 minutes, 3 times a week, improved brain metabolism and protected the cells. Aim to exercise for at least 90 minutes a week.

4. Smoking

According to the World Health Organization, smokers have a 45 percent higher risk of dementia compared to non-smokers. The report also pointed out that 14 percent of Alzheimerís cases in the world may be linked to smoking. Quit smoking to protect your brain and lower risk of dementia.

5. Lack of Adequate Sleep

Iím willing to bet you know at least a handful of negative side effects of lack of sleep. Well, add dementia to that list. Inadequate sleep can mess with your memory and reduce attention span. Here are daily habits that can help you sleep better.

Too much sleep isnít good either. According to research, people who sleep longer than 8 hours have a 35 percent higher risk of dementia.

6. Ignoring Chronic Diseases

Did you know that people with diabetes and high blood pressure have higher risk of dementia? Using medication, proper nutrition and exercise to manage these diseases can help prevent dementia.

7. Drinking Too Much

Heavy drinking has been linked to many diseases including stroke, high blood pressure, liver disease, and dementia. Drinking more than one glass of alcohol a night can make your brain shrink which consequently causes memory loss. Drink alcohol in moderation and limit your intake to one glass a day.

Which other habits increase risk of dementia?

Related at Care2

62 comments

Marija M
Marija M10 days ago

Doing my best, except...

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Stephanie s
Stephanie s10 days ago

Thanks

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Leila Mota
Leila Mota10 days ago

Good to know.

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Nicole H
Nicole H11 days ago

2.- My husband got Alzheimer before he was 50. Reason ?? Unknown. There were no cases in his family, we had good social contacts, he did not drink or smoke. He ate sufficiently green vegs. He slept very well, and although we did not really exercise, we had very long walks during weekends. So, in fact there was no reason why he should have Alzheimer at such young age. But, he had. At the age of 63 he passed away. Therefore, really I can not say this article learned me a lot.....

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Nicole H
Nicole H11 days ago

First of all, these 7 habits are just all 7 to have a good health, and being happy with your life. Then, there are so many forms of dementia that I don't believe that you really can avoid dementia just by following these tips. And then we have the "family" dementia. Generally you will see in one family a certain number of people that have dementia. One of your grandparents, uncles, aunts, nephews and nieces, etc.. It is genetic, and if you have several family members that had dementia, you have a really good chance you will get it too. Then, there are sometimes situations you can not change, and as a result of which you can not follow up these tips. I am a widow, am disabled and in a wheel chair since 2 years, rarely come out of my apartment, so I am isolated, I can not exercise, sleep badly (because of pain). And I smoke. Does that mean I will get dementia ?? I don't think so. It's not because I stay at home, that I have no relations with friends via email, skype, chat, etc... ../2

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Amanda M
Amanda M11 days ago

Well, I don't smoke, the number of drinks per MONTH I can count on one hand and have fingers left over, I watch my health, I walk everywhere I can (I wish our town had a pool so I could add swimming to my routine), and I happen to love greens like collards and kale, especially home-grown! Unfortunately, perimenopause is wreaking havoc on my sleep in the form of insomnia-a maddening symptom, but actually not the worst (that's a tie between the weight gain, super-PMS, and beard-like facial hair-WTF is up with THAT one?), so there's not too much I can do but ride it out and pray to the Goddess that full-blown menopause isn't way worse. The social isolation is the biggie-as a stay-at-home mom whose husband works long hours, most of my time is spent with the kids or hauling them to their activities. (which is no easy feat with only one car and two of us), leaving me no social time for myself. Throw in the factors of being a Democrat and a Wiccan in a small, largely Republican and Christian town where virtually all the groups and activities are church-related and what few secular groups/activities there are cost money we don't have, combine that with the fact that I don't make friends easily (it takes a MINIMUM of a year to get to the point where I can trust someone enough to even consider the prospect, at which point the friendship usually dissolves once I reveal my political status or religious beliefs anyway), and you know why I tend to

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Trish K
Trish K11 days ago

It's only against the law to smoke and drink. Will work on the isolationism later.

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Mick G
Mick Gorman11 days ago

Thank you.

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Leo C
Leo C11 days ago

Thank you for sharing!

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Janis K
Janis K11 days ago

Thanks for sharing.

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