How to Prevent Cognitive Decline

by Webmd Men Staff
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As you start to get older, some tissues in your body will begin to deteriorate a little bit and certain internal organs like your brain may not function coffee. Mounting or as effectively as they used to. When your brain loses some of its function, you may start having minor issues with memory and cognitive ability or you may develop serious neurological conditions. For example, about 2 million men have Alzheimer’s disease and more have other forms of dementia. To prevent neurodegenerative diseases and cognitive decline, you need to treat your brain well by exercising it often and ensuring it gets all the necessary nutrients.

Do not shy away from coffee.

Mounting evidence is suggesting that caffeine is both a good short term and long term brain stimulant that can improve brain health in people of all ages. Additionally, coffee (as well as tea) contains key antioxidants that can protect your brain against certain forms of damage. Studies show an average of three cups of coffee a day can reduce your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease by about 30%. Some studies suggest that number might even be closer to about 60%. Black coffee is especially effective, but any coffee can have some benefit, especially if you avoid using too much milk, sugar, creamer, and whipped cream.

Learn as often as you can.

man reading a book with his morning coffee Research has shown that people with a higher level of education tend to have better cognitive ability at older ages because education allows your brain to get into a routine of consistent mental activity. However, while a higher education is definitely helpful, you do not need to have a higher education to prevent memory loss. You just need to make sure you get into the habit of challenging your brain to work hard by learning as often as you can. Learning stimulates critical parts of your nervous system so that your brain cells do not forget how to communicate or maintain themselves. You can learn by reading books or by trying out new hobbies. As long as you are consistently engaging in some form of mental challenge, you should be able to prevent some forms of cognitive decline.

Watch what you eat.

Your brain needs glucose for fuel, so you need to eat enough food to keep your brain working. If you do not eat enough food, you will start to feel sluggish quickly. While carbohydrates are definitely important when it comes to accessing the energy in glucose, simple sugars are not going to the best source of nutrients for your brain. You probably want foods that take longer to digest and metabolize so that your brains receives a steady stream of nutrients. You want to make sure you are getting many plant fibers as well as moderate amounts of fat and protein. Different types of antioxidants present in foods including fish, berries, and some vegetables can also be good for your brain health.

Keep your heart strong.

Research shows that physical activity is important when it comes to ensuring proper brain function and preventing brain degeneration. Your brain contains many regions that receive a blood supply that tends to be relatively poor in necessary nutrients, which means these regions can experience a rapid decline in function as you age. By keeping your heart strong and healthy, you can make sure that blood circulation around these regions is always sufficient so that these regions do not become deprived of key nutrients. To promote good heart health, you want to engage in cardio workouts. You should also avoid diets that can cause your blood vessels to clog up.

Get the right amount of sleep.

having a good restful sleepWhen you are sleeping, your brain starts to clear out huge amounts of unnecessary blockages and it also sorts and stores the memories that you recently made. Without enough sleep, you cannot properly store these memories, which can negatively affect memory recall. Additionally, if you are not getting sufficient sleep, then proteins might start to build up in your brain. This buildup can cause blockages in certain crucial nervous system pathways, which can make it so that you have trouble with learning and memory. However, while sleep is important, you do not want too much of it. Research shows too much sleep in older adults can also sometimes cause problems with memory and cognitive decline.

Do not ignore your mental health.

Evidence has demonstrated most men have a tendency to minimize mental health problems. However, if you want to keep your brain working, then you do not want to ignore your mental health because many psychological conditions can have a serious impact on your brain health. A range of mental health conditions can cause you to have elevated stress levels, which can negatively affect your memory. Therefore, it is unsurprising that research shows activities including yoga, art, and casual socializing can delay certain memory problems. Additionally, you might want to consider therapy or certain medications to help you minimize stress, especially if you are experiencing symptoms of a serious mental health concern.

Engage your senses.

You may be the type of person who comes up a million different mnemonics to remember something important. However, scientists believe the best way to effectively remember something for a long time is actually to use your senses. When you are trying to learn something new, you will have an easier time with remembering it if you engage as many of your senses as possible while you are in the process of learning. For example, many studies have shown that associating facts and images with a particular smell or sound can improve your ability to recall that fact or image.

Your brain is an extremely important organ in your body and, once it starts to shut down, it is hard to reverse the damage because brain cells cannot usually regenerate. When your brain does not function effectively or efficiently, many of your other organs can eventually start to fail as well. Additionally, you can experience certain difficulties with memory and learning. To keep your mind working, you need to make sure that you are treating your brain well.

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