In this is clinical psychology episode of The Psychology World Podcast, we’ve going to be talking about 5 Ways to Keep Your Brain Healthy and Reduce the Risk of Getting Dementia.
This episode has been sponsored by Biological Psychology Third Edition.
Personally, I really wanted to do this episode because we have a dementia suffer in our family. And I really don’t want any of you to go through this so hopefully this could help you, your family and your clients.
5 Ways to Keep Your Brain Healthy and Reduce the Risk of Getting Dementia
Get your Flu Vaccination:
Surprisingly enough, becoming vaccinated against the flu has other benefits because it may help to protect you against Alzheimer’s disease. Since psychology research studied a large data set of 9066 people and they found people who got a flu vaccination had a decreased risk of cognitive decline. This is associated with Alzheimer’s.
Additionally, the researchers added: “...people that consistently got their annual flu shot had a lower risk of Alzheimer's. This translated to an almost 6% reduced risk of Alzheimer's disease for patients between the ages of 75-84 for 16 years.”
Personally, I think this is a great point because it shows by protecting our physical health, we can protect our mental health too. Also, it’s reasonably easy to do.
I have said this before so please check out the other clinical psychology podcast episodes for more information. But being a positive, cheerful person is always great. And thankfully, positivism isn’t an innate trait so it can be learnt if you’re not positive at the moment.
If you want to start becoming more positive, then maybe start my appreciating the small things. Like, thanking your loved ones, being grateful for your health and maybe write about why something positive each day.
Get a Good Night Sleep:
I think this is a certainly interesting point because we all know we need to get enough sleep and I talk about this a lot more in Biological Psychology.
However, whilst researchers are still trying to determine the relationship between Dementia and sleep. Some research clearly shows the brain gets rid of a lot of its waste during sleep that is associated with Alzheimer’s disease.
Meaning if you get more sleep then you’re less likely to get Dementia.
Add Berries, Apples and Green Tea to Your Diet:
Moving onto some more diet-based ways to keep your brain healthy. Research has shown people should eat foods high in flavonoids, substances that reduce inflammation, and these types of foods are associated with a reduction in Dementia.
Therefore, eating berries, apples and drinking green tea can be protective factors to keep your brain healthy and dark chocolate is high in flavonoids too.
Personally, I’m grateful for this fact because I really eat a lot of fruit and sometimes I drink green tea. So, hopefully, I’m on the right track.
However, if you don’t like the taste of green tea and I can understand why. I hated it at first! It turns out by drinking coffee it has dementia reducing effects in addition to its increase in short term concentration.
According to a longitudinal study of 1409 people, people who drunk moderate amounts of coffee a day, 3 to 5 cups, in mid-life reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease later in life.
This is another point I’m happy about because I tend to drink two to three cups a day.
Nonetheless, I did want to mention maybe two years ago, I read a study linking drinking over four cups of coffee a day with increase mortality later in life. Of course, it was years ago and I don’t have a reference for it. But whilst we’re on the topic of being healthy, I thought I should give a caveat.
Overall, I really hope you’ve enjoyed this clinical psychology episode of The Psychology World Podcast.
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Clinical Psychology References:
Graff-Radford, J. & Lunde, A. M. (2020). Mayo Clinic on Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementias. Rochester, MN: Mayo Clinic Press, pp. 48 ff, p. 290-1.
Sing out. "Choir Singing Can Improve Cognitive Functioning Among the Elderly." ScienceDaily, 2.10.2021.
Sauna bathing. Emamzadeh, A. "Could Sauna Bathing Have Cognitive Benefits?" 2.6.2021. Psychologytoday.com.
Tai chi. Harvard Health Letter of 8.22.2019.
Attitudes/Becca Levy. Applewhite, A. This Chair Rocks: A Manifesto Against Ageism (2016). NY: Celadon Books. pp. 43, 114
Vaccination. "Flu, pneumonia vaccinations tied to lower risk of Alzheimer's dementia." ScienceDaily, 27 July 2020.
Positive outlook. “Positive Outlook Predicts Less Memory Decline,” Association for Psychology Science, 10/29/2020.
Berries, apples, green tea. "More berries, apples and tea may have protective benefits against Alzheimer's," ScienceDaily, May 5, 2020.
Coffee and dementia risk. Hendrick, B. “Coffee Strong Enough to Ward Off Dementia?" WebMd, Jan. 16, 2009.