If you’ve got mild cognitive impairment and you want to give yourself the best possible protection against progressing to dementia, the place to start is your heart.
That’s according to new information just published on the Harvard Health Blog.
Dr. Monique Tello, a contributing editor for the blog, says it appears blood flow to the brain is a major factor in whether or not you get dementia. The healthier your heart, the better the blood flow and the lower your risk of either vascular dementia or Alzheimer’s.
As she writes in her blog post (emphasis in bold added by me):
“The take-home message here is, even if someone has a family history of dementia, particularly Alzheimer’s dementia, and even if they already have mild cognitive impairment (forgetfulness, confusion), they can still reduce their risk of developing dementia by simply living a heart- healthy lifestyle.”
There’s solid research behind that. In today’s video, I explain how strong the link between heart health and brain health really is. People with low cardiovascular risks are far less likely to develop dementia. On the other hand, for people with moderate or serious heart health issues, their risk of dementia is much closer to 50/50.
Here are 5 healthy heart habits that can help protect you against the threat of dementia:
- Get regular exercise.
- Follow a heart-healthy diet. The Mediterranean diet, the MIND diet and or DASH diet are all good choices.
- “Know your numbers,” including your blood pressure and cholesterol level.
- If you have either hypertension or diabetes, get proper treatment for that.
- Find healthy ways to manage stress, such as mindfulness, meditation, yoga, breathing techniques or prayer.
The blog post by Dr. Monique Tello is available here: What’s good for the heart is good for the mind
(Video thumbnail photo by Debby Hudson on Unsplash)