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Is there a way to boost your brain and restore your mental agility?

THERE ARE NOW MORE than 800,00 people in the UK who suffer from dementia – and that is predicted to rise to over a million by 2021. If you have a family history of dementia and are worried about your memory – or just want to keep your grey cells in good condition, these top tips are just what you need!

Keep your heart healthy

The risks of dementia are increased if you suffer with heart problems including heart disease, diabetes and strokes – so make you keep your heart healthy. Eat a balanced diet, take regular exercise and keep an eye on your cholesterol

Have a coffee break

There is increasing evidence that caffeine can help to protect your brain from dementia – although researchers still don’t know why! A study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease suggested that an average of 3 cups of coffee per day helped protect against the onset of Alzheimer’s in later life

Eat more oily fish

It is now widely accepted that the Omega 3 acids found in oily fish guard against the formation of a protein called beta-amyloid. Levels of this protein are directly linked with memory loss and consuming food rich in omega 3 (or a quality supplement) cut levels of beta-amyloid by up to 30%

Get enough sleep

Several studies have found that people who sleep less are more likely to have a build up of beta-amyloid ‘plaques’ in their brain. These plaques are a very often found in the brains affected by Alzheimer’s

Eat extra Vitamin E

A study by the Ageing Research Institute in Stockholm found that older people with higher amounts of Vitamin E were 54% less likely to develop Alzheimer’s. Vitamin E is found in nuts, seeds and olive oil – or you could opt for a supplement.

Get a much exercise as you can

Cardiff University have studied the effect of exercise throughout your life on the chances of developing dementia. They discovered that people who exercised regularly had better blood flow to their brain, so were 60% less likely to develop memory problems.

Take care of your teeth

Researchers at the University of California followed 55,00 elderly people over an 18 year period. They found that those brushing their teeth less than once a day were 65% more likely to develop dementia! They suspect that bacteria which also causes gum disease are to blame as they can trigger an immune response in the brain.

Keep cholesterol under control

High cholesterol will increase your risk of Alzheimer’s, so look at changing your diet or consult your GP to see if they can help.

Drink cocoa before bed

Volunteers were asked to drink 2 cups of cocoa a day for a month, after which they carried out memory and thinking skills tests. Chocolate helps increase blood flow to the brain, so test scores were improved by an average of 8.5% thanks to the effect of cocoa.

Keep your mind active

The risk of dementia is reduced by up to 75% for people who regularly exercise their mind with reading, puzzles and board games. Why not get started with our puzzles which you’ll find on page 27.

Try a herbal supplement

Look for one which contains Omega 3 (fights the effect of beta-amyloids), Ginkgo Biloba (increases blood flow to the brain), B Vitamins (prevents brain shrinkage) and Acetyl L-Carnitine (improves memory and recall).

Get your eyes tested

A study in the US found that treating poor vision can reduce the chances of dementia by up to 65%. Scientists are undecided on the reasons, but it is thought that it makes it harder to read and exercise which help prevent mental decline.