Dementia: The food to eat ‘at least twice a week’ to reduce your risk of the condition

Dementia: Dr Sara on benefits of being in nature

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Some people may not know that you can reduce your risk of dementia. Indeed, although there are some risk factors you can’t change, there are many that you can. This will not mean that you definitely do not develop the condition, but can make it less likely. By 2025, Dementia UK reports more than one million people will be living with dementia in the UK.

The Alzheimer’s Society notes that there are many risk factors for dementia.

It states: “The risk of developing the condition depends on a mixture of these and varies from person to person. Some of these are factors you can’t change, such as age. But there are lots of factors that can be changed.”

The charity explains that mid-life – from your 40s into your early 60s – is a good time to start taking steps to reduce your risk of developing dementia, though it is helpful to take steps at any age.

“The brain changes that cause dementia can start years or even decades before symptoms develop. If you live a healthy lifestyle now, you are reducing the chances that these brain changes will happen,” it adds.

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Many of these changes surround diet and other lifestyle habits.

The Alzheimer’s Society says that a healthy, balanced diet may reduce your risk of dementia, as well as other conditions.

In eating a balanced diet you should eat at least five portions of fruit and vegetables a day and eat protein “at least twice a week”.

Foods which are high in protein include oily fish, beans, pulses, eggs or meat.

The charity suggests that you eat fish at least twice a week, and that at least one portion should be oily fish like sardines or salmon.

“They’re rich in omega-3 fatty acids and, like beans and eggs, are a good source of protein,” it says.

You should also aim to exercise regularly to reduce your risk of dementia.

“Doing regular physical activity is one of the best ways to reduce your risk of dementia. It’s good for your heart, circulation, weight and mental wellbeing,” says the charity.

The “MIND” diet, short for Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay, can also bolster the brain against decline, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Researchers are actively trying to find ways to stave off brain decline by boosting cognitive function. Surprising risk factors have been tied to brain decline.

Some factors only slightly increase a person’s risk while others make it much more likely that the person will develop the condition.

“For most people, the biggest risk factors for dementia are ageing and genes,” warns the Alzheimer’s Society.

Statistics from the NHS show one in 14 people over the age of 65 have dementia.

The condition affects one in six people over the age of 80.

There are five more common types of dementia and these are Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia, dementia with Lewy bodies, frontotemporal dementia and mixed dementia.

The condition can also affect people under the age of 65, with approximately 42,000 people in the UK living with young onset dementia according to Dementia UK.

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