A recent study shows that eating a balanced diet and exercising your body lowers your risk of developing dementia. Dementia is a brain disease that inhibits a person’s memory and ability to think. It takes on different forms, but 50 to 70% of it goes hand in hand with Alzheimer’s disease.
The two healthy habits i.e. eating well and exercising frequently reduce the build-up of sticky plaques in your brain helping you avoid dementia. Plaques happen to be abnormal protein clusters that accumulate between nerve cells in the brain. This accumulation leads to the loss of brain cells.
This study is the first one to show a relationship between healthy lifestyle choices and dementia. The research also revealed that sticking to a good diet and maintaining a rigorous workout routine reduces the rate at which your brain shrinks. Moreover, these healthy lifestyle choices lower the atrophy rates in people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.
The details of the study
Researchers from the University of California, led by Dr. Merrill David, conducted this study. It involved 44 participants aged from 40 to 85 years of age. They all suffered from mild changes in their memory. The researchers scanned their brains to measure the tangles and plaques in them. The team also asked the participants questions on diet, physical activity, and calculated their BMI (body mass index).
The researchers found that a number of factors reduced the level of tangles and plaques in the brain by 1 to 3%. This reduction is sufficient when it comes to delaying the development of dementia. The factors involved in this reduction included a good BMI, the Mediterranean diet, and heightened physical activity.
This study, published in the Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry (America), allowed physicians to detect, understand, and image the changes that occur in a person who suffers from dementia or/and Alzheimer’s disease. Due to this breakthrough, scientists can now detect the impact of lifestyles choices at a molecular level before a serious brain disease develops.
The lifestyle changes you should consider
The best thing you can do is to eat a highly balanced diet, which means you need to eat different foods from each food group. For example, you can get carbohydrates from brown rice, potatoes, and whole bread; you can get proteins from fish and lean meat. Eating leafy vegetables and fruits is always a good idea.
Exercising regularly is an important thing to do because it keeps your body healthy and fit. Moreover, physical exercise also leads to the improvement of blood circulation through the parts of your body including the brain.