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    General Health
    1234 · 20 min read

    Foods to Prevent Dementia: A Doctor Explains The Ideal Dementia Prevention Diet

    Dementia is a prevalent health condition in the UK, with rates of dementia on the rise, in fact, it is the biggest driver of mortality after coronavirus in England (NHS England, 2024). In this article UK Meds asked Dr Alexis Missick MBChB. MRCGP which foods can help to prevent dementia and which lifestyle factors can help. Find out the answers below.

    Foods to prevent dementia

    What are three of the best foods that can help prevent dementia?

    Recent studies suggest that the Mediterranean diet may reduce the risk of dementia (NIA, 2023). This is mostly due to the emphasis on eating fruits and vegetables, which are high in antioxidants. Antioxidants can help to maintain good brain function. Foods in this diet which may help prevent dementia include:

    • Fruits, vegetables and pulses - especially berries, green leafy vegetables such as spinach and kale, and beans and lentils

    • Oily fish such as salmon and tuna

    • Olive oil

    • Wholegrain bread, rice and pasta

    Video: Nutrition and Eating with Dementia - Alzheimer's Society Podcast

    In this podcast by Alzheimer's Society they explain how to help maintain a nutritious diet and still enjoy your food if you have dementia with some recommended recipes that you can try. Watch the video below:

    What are three of the best drinks that can help prevent dementia?

    Wine is a part of the Mediterranean diet and so may help to improve brain health (Hrelia et al, 2022), however, more than one small glass is more likely to harm brain health than help it (NIAAA, 2022). Some studies have shown that caffeine in coffee and tea may also help to slightly reduce the risk of dementia (Larsson & Orsini, 2018). 

    What daily activity can help prevent dementia?

    Studies have found that daily activities such as cleaning, gardening, brisk walking and washing up can all reduce the risk of dementia (Wang et al, 2021).

    What are three exercise moves that can help prevent dementia?

    Doing a combination of strength-building exercises and aerobic exercises will help to reduce the risk of dementia (Yamasaki, T.; 2023). 

    Strength-building exercises include yoga and pilates, lifting weights or heavier objects at home or using resistance bands and some gardening activities such as digging.

    Aerobic exercises include walking briskly or hiking, swimming and jogging.

    Dancing, running, walking up stairs or a hill and sports such as football, netball and basketball are all both strength-building and aerobic exercises.

    What things should you avoid doing in your home to prevent dementia?

    To help prevent dementia, avoid sitting down for too long, drinking above the recommended limits and smoking. There is also a higher risk for dementia for people who are experiencing loneliness and social isolation, so it is a good idea to talk to a GP if you are experiencing these issues. 

    Dr. Alexis Missick MBChB. MRCGP

    Medically Reviewed by:
    Dr. Alexis Missick MBChB. MRCGP
    GMC reference no: 7151419

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