Studies are conflicting to indicate that diet, exercise and cognitive activity prevent dementia, which are usually due to methodological issues and cohort studied. However there are studies that do show good results, inconsistent as they are. The Mediterranean diet is one that has consistently showed positive results in preventing cognitive decline but not towards the relationship with dementia.
The Mediterranean diet consists of less meat, more of fish, legumes, moderate levels of red wine, extra virgin olive oil, fruits and vegetables. The Mediterranean diet is also about connecting with people while preparing the meal and eating, therefore increasing social activity. This is because Mediterranean's prepare their meal together with family and/or friends (unfortunately Mediterranean's are steering towards the Western diet) Increased social activity is also another preventing factor in dementia. People who follow the Mediterranean diet also eat their main meal at lunch-time and have fruit for dessert.
Social activity can help improve cognitive functioning, especially during intellectual conversations. Talking to people about what you have read and learned will also help improve memory by working it. Researchers investigated older people volunteering to help students learn. The activity improved their physical strength, social support networks and cognitive activity.
It is important to be careful what you read, especially when it comes to research findings, as the result may be influenced by other factors such as type of people participating, type of methods used and number of participants involved. If researchers repeated the same study, it may prove otherwise.
Josephine from jb Consulting and Psychology is a
mental health, behaviour and learning intervention and consulting specialist for adults, children, young people, as well as staff at the workplace.