People should eat more fruit, vegetables, fish and nuts and walk for about 25 minutes a day to reduce their risk of dementia, the first international guidance of its kind has concluded.
Drinking moderately, keeping the brain active and following a Mediterranean diet can help to avoid conditions such as Alzheimer’s, the World Health Organization (WHO) says.
With no treatment for dementia in prospect an international group of experts said that prevention through healthier living was people’s best hope.
However, there is not enough evidence to recommend vitamin supplements, an active social life or hearing aids, the guidance rules.
Dementia symptoms can be combated through a lifestyle overhaul and taking better care of yourself, according to the World Health Organization.
WHO published guidelines on the risk reduction of cognitive decline and dementia yesterday which sets out ways for people to combat developing dementia. They said: “Several recent studies have shown a relationship between the development of cognitive impairment and dementia with lifestyle-related risk factors, such as physical inactivity, tobacco use, unhealthy diets and harmful use of alcohol.” Robert Howard, professor of old age psychiatry, University College London, said: “I tell my patients that what is good for their hearts is probably good for their brains.” A healthy diet means getting at least five portions of fruit and vegetables a day, upping your protein, limiting sugar and starchy foods and eating less saturated fat.