One of the scariest parts about aging is having to wonder how your brain and cognition will change over time, especially if you’ve seen people in your family experience significant memory loss later in life. One of the most common ways that people experience changes in memory as they age is through dementia.
Dementia is not a specific disease like some people may think, but instead is a term used for a decline in certain cognitive functions, like memory, that affects your day-to-day life. Dementia is fairly common and affects around 6 million Americans, but it is more severe than the mild memory loss that may come with natural aging.
There are many factors that can affect your risk of developing dementia later in life. Things like your eating habits, daily movement practices, age, and genetics can all play a role in your dementia risk. And according to a study published in the Japanese Journal of Human Sciences of Health-Social Services, skipping breakfast is a daily habit that can increase your risk by four times!
Several habits were closely examined with this cohort, including skipping breakfast, snacking during the day, not watching salt consumption, and not watching which nutrients were consumed.
Of all of these factors, the one that seemed to have the most significant impact was skipping breakfast. For those who didn’t eat a morning meal, a dementia diagnosis was four times higher than for those who did. While breakfast was the most important factor in this study, all four daily habits had an impact on dementia diagnoses, which reveals just how important your diet is to reduce the risk.
Not only is eating breakfast important, but also focusing on a nutrient-dense breakfast is crucial in caring for your brain health. According to a Japanese study from the University of Tsukuba, diets higher in soluble fiber were known to lower the risk of dementia in adults.
To get some healthy fiber in your morning routine, try a hearty bowl of oatmeal with your favorite nuts, seeds, or fruit on top!