Everyone has their own routine to start their day. Some jump straight into the shower to cool off. Others like to train early. Many people might also need a cup of coffee before moving on. On the contrary, the first things we do after waking up are usually some of the more mindful or healthy activities we do throughout the day. But research has shown that a specific morning habit could potentially increase your risk of dementia. Read on to see how starting your day off on the wrong foot could quadruple your risk of cognitive decline.
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In a 2011 study published in the Japanese Journal of Health and Social Care Humanitiesresearchers selected 525 adults aged 65 or older from a farming community near an urban center in Japan to examine the links between special lifestyle features and dementia. Participants had follow-ups over a period of six years to collect data on each person’s health.
The results found some associations, particularly with regard to eating habits. After adjusting for risk factors such as age and gender, the data showed those who skipped breakfast in the morning were four times more likely to develop dementia than those who did.
But it wasn’t just skipping your first meal of the day that could increase your risk of cognitive decline. The results also showed that participants were 2.5 times more likely to be diagnosed with dementia if they were not careful with their salt intake, 2.7 times more likely to develop the degenerative disease if they snacked regularly and 2.7 times more likely to be diagnosed if they did not maintain a well-balanced or nutritious diet.
“According to our results, several lifestyle habits were associated with dementia,” the authors conclude. “Appropriate interventions are needed for those at high risk, including those with mild cognitive impairment [MCI].”
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It’s no secret that what we eat can immediately affect our health. But when it comes to dementia specifically, research has shown that certain eating habits can go a long way in reducing the risk of developing the disease.
the Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay (MIND) was developed as a hybrid between the oft-vaunted Mediterranean-style diet and the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet used to treat high blood pressure. According to the Mayo Clinic, the dietary pattern involves a high intake of “natural plant-based foods while limiting red meat, saturated fats and sweets” and has even been shown to reduce the risk by 53%. to develop Alzheimer’s disease.
The diet suggests eating three servings of whole grains a day and green leafy vegetables at least six times a week, with other vegetables added at least once a day. He also suggests eating berries at least twice a week, fish once a week, poultry twice a week, five servings of nuts a week, and beans at least three times a week. It is also less restrictive than a traditional Mediterranean diet by limiting red meat consumption to less than four times a week, but advises against frying or fast food more than occasionally. Likewise, you should replace butter with olive oil in cooking, reduce to less than one serving of cheese per week, limit yourself to less than five sweets or pastries per week, and stick to one small drink. of wine per day.
Yet other recent research has shown that skipping breakfast isn’t the only morning habit that can increase your risk of cognitive decline. A team of researchers conducted a study recently published in the journal Nutritional neuroscience trying to see if coffee consumption may be associated with brain health, including the risk of stroke or dementia. To test their theory, the team brought together a group of 17,702 participants aged 30 to 37 from the UK Biobank.
The researchers then compared the recorded brain imagery with the amount of coffee consumed each day by the participants. The results revealed that those who drank more than six cups of coffee a day were 53% more likely to develop dementia.
The researchers also noticed that those who consumed a lot of infusions saw a significant physiological effect from excessive consumption. “Given all the possible permutations, we have consistently found that higher coffee consumption was significantly associated with a reduction in brain volume,” Kitty Pham, the team’s principal investigator and a doctoral candidate at the University of South Australia, said in a statement. “Essentially, drinking more than six cups of coffee a day can put you at risk for brain diseases such as dementia and stroke.”
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