Can dementia be prevented?

Although dementia cannot be prevented, living a health-focused life might influence risk factors for certain types of dementia. Keeping blood vessels clear of cholesterol buildup, maintaining normal blood pressure, controlling blood sugar, staying at a healthy weight – basically, staying as healthy as one can – can keep the brain fueled with the oxygen and nutrients it needs to function at its highest possible level. Specific healthful steps you can take include:

  • Stop smoking
  • Follow a Mediterranean diet, which is one filled with whole grains, vegetables, fruits, fish and shellfish, nuts, beans, olive oil and only limited amounts of red meats.
  • Exercise. Get at least 30 minutes of exercise most days of the week.
  • Keep your brain engaged. Solve puzzles, play word games, and try other mentally stimulating activities. These activities may delay the start of dementia.
  • Stay socially active. Interact with people; discuss current events; keep your mind, heart, and soul engaged.

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