Full disclosure. I am a senior who lives alone. I do have a girlfriend and a dog whom I consider to be constant companions, so that may temper the damage of living solo as reported by Medical News Today.
A new study has concluded that living alone is linked to common mental disorders. The authors have also identified the main driver of this worrying relationship.
Some common mental disorders (CMDs) include mood disorders, anxiety, and substance use disorders.
According to some studies, almost one-third of people will experience a CMD in their lifetime.
These conditions can have a significant impact on the individual, of course, but due to their high prevalence, they also affect society at large.
Due to the widespread influence of CMDs, scientists are keen to understand the full range of risk factors that feed into mental health.
In recent years, scientists have investigated whether living alone might be one such risk factor. Continue reading
Possibly one of the oldest and most widespread cooking cliches is the fish are brain food. I can still hear my mother telling me to eat my fish “it’s good for your brain.” Well, guess what. It’s true.
WebMD says, “Fish really is brain food. A protein source associated with a great brain boost is fish — rich in omega 3 fatty acids, essential for brain function and development. These healthy fats have amazing brain power: higher dietary omega 3 fatty acids are linked to lower dementia and stroke risks; slower mental decline; and may play a vital role in enhancing memory, especially as we get older.
“For brain and heart health, eat two servings of fish weekly.”
As a senior citizen and one who has dementia in his family, I was especially gratified to learn this.
In addition to eating fish, remember that cardiovascular exercise also benefits the brain directly because it sends oxygen molecules to the brain and creates new neurotransmitters.
Please check out Important Facts About Your Brain (and Exercise) for lots more on this most important organ in your body.
Researchers compared the eating habits and mental abilities of nearly 4,000 older Midwesterners. Participants’ diets were scored for adherence to a traditional Greek diet, and cognitive performance was tested every 3 years. Even after adjusting for other lifestyle factors, those with higher “MedDiet” scores suffered slower cognitive decline over time, according to the Tufts University Health and Nutrition Newsletter.
The Mediterranean Diet is rich in vegetables and fruits
Although there’s no single true “Mediterranean diet”—people in Tunisia eat differently from those in, say, Greece—certain common components of the region’s diet have previously been linked to a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease. Scientists looked for:
• High intake of vegetables, legumes, fruits, fish and cereals
• High intake of unsaturated fatty acids but low intake of saturated lipids
• Low intake of dairy products, meat and poultry
• Mild to moderate alcohol consumption