Dr Zoe says walking can reduce risk of dementia
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A study, published in the journal Neurology, found that people who adopt seven healthy habits have a lower risk of developing dementia. One of the interventions associated with lower risk is keeping blood pressure levels in check.
Although high blood pressure is best known for boosting your risk of heart attacks and strokes, it’s also considered a “key factor” for dementia, according to the Alzheimer’s Society.
The research team said: “We do know that it’s never too early or too late in life to take steps to reduce our risk of dementia and improve our brain health.
“Not smoking, only drinking in moderation, staying mentally, physically and socially active, eating a balanced diet, and keeping cholesterol and blood pressure levels in check can all help to keep our brains healthy as we age.”
Many of these lifestyle tweaks are also thought to reduce high blood pressure levels.
From a healthy diet to losing weight, the NHS recommends various interventions for preventing the culprit altogether.
When it comes to a blood pressure lowering diet, two key terms are salt and potassium.
Salt is considered the “single biggest” cause of hypertension, Blood Pressure UK reports.
The charity explains that the more of this seasoning you eat, the higher your levels will climb.
The reason why the common ingredient raises high blood pressure is water retention.
“If you eat too much, the extra water in your blood means there is extra pressure on your blood vessel walls, raising your blood pressure,” Blood Pressure UK details.
However, salt is also hidden in foods you buy in the grocery store, so locking your salt shaker inside of the kitchen cupboard might not suffice. It’s also important to read the food labels wrapped around your groceries.
While salt raises the culprit, potassium is able to lower your levels.
The Mayo Clinic explains that this mineral can lessen the effects of sodium on blood pressure.
Some food sources of potassium include bananas, tomatoes, oranges and broccoli, the Harvard Medical School lists.
Another helpful lifestyle habit for keeping your blood pressure levels at bay is exercise.
Staying physically active helps to keep your heart and blood vessels in “good condition”, according to the NHS.
The health service shares: “Regular exercise can also help you lose weight, which will also help lower your blood pressure.
“Adults should do at least 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) of moderate-intensity aerobic activity, such as cycling or fast walking, every week.”
Cutting down on caffeine and quitting smoking could also benefit your levels.
In case you’re not aware, the ideal blood pressure is considered to be between 90/60mmHg and 120/80mmHg.
By keeping your blood pressure levels away from the red zone, you can also reduce your risk of dementia.
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