A daily cuppa may be able to cut down your chances of getting the disease. Scientists from the University of California say that people aged 65-plus who regularly drank tea showed 37% fewer signs of dementia than those who didn't drink any. The study also found that people who drank coffee at least five times a week reduced their memory loss by up to 20% compared to those who give it a miss.
These nuts - which are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids and the antioxidant vitamin E - may be able to improve brain function, according to researchers from New York. They found mice that ate a diet rich in walnuts could drastically improve their learning and memory abilities. The scientists say this suggests walnuts may be able to delay the onset or slow the progression of Alzheimer's and there now needs to be tests carried out on humans to find out if this is the case.
A brisk stroll around the block or a game of golf could be good for your brain as well as your body. Elderly people who do "moderate" levels of exercise, such as golf or jogging, could cut their risk of Alzheimer's by up to 40% if results of a study at the Boston University School of medicine are anything to go by. Researchers studied 1200 people with an average age of 76 and concluded physical activity had a major impact on reducing memory loss. This backs up previous evidence that exercise helps to keep your brain healthy. other studies say the physical activity doesn't have to be strenuous - the most important thing is that it is done regularly.
A lack of vitamin D - which principally comes from the sun - may play a part in getting Alzheimer's disease. Scientists from the University of Exeter in the UK studied more than 3300 people over 65 and found that those who had vitamin D deficiencies were nearly five times more likely to get the disease.
Studies show that keeping the brain active seems to help keep brain cells and connections between them working properly. It's thought it may even be possible to generate new brain cells. Reading, writing, doing puzzles, playing games and learning new things may all help to keep your brain healthy.
People who enjoy regular social contact are less likely to get Alzheimer's, according to research, especially if they are also physically and mentally active. one study found that people who did sociable activities like dancing or playing bridge had lower rates of the disease.
If you're wondering what that is, then the best advice is to follow a diet recommended for good heart health.
A long-term study of 1500 adults found those who were obese when they were middle-aged were twice as likely to develop dementia when they became elderly. Those who also had high cholesterol and high blood pressure were six times more likely to get Alzheimer's.
Women with big bottoms may have a greater risk of memory loss than those who carry excess weight around their tummies. Researchers at Northwestern University in Chicago studied 9000 women, looking at how their weight affected their mental skills as they aged. They found the heavier you are, the worse your memory gets as you become older. But in particular, women who carried their weight around their hips, bottom and thighs (pear-shaped) had more memory problems than apple-shaped women who have pot bellies.