Dementia is the name given to a group of symptoms linked to an ongoing decline in brain function, according to the NHS.
Alzheimer’s disease is a type of dementia, and symptoms include memory loss, confusion and repetitivity.
You can lower your risk of dementia by eating a healthy, balanced diet.
Eating just an extra five mushrooms everyday could lower your risk of the condition, scientists have revealed.
Mushrooms are rich in two types of antioxidants that help to combat ageing and keep the brain healthy, according to US scientists.
Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease prevalence is lower in countries that eat more mushrooms, they said.
“It’s preliminary, but you can see that countries that have more ergothioneine – an antioxidant – in their diets, countries like France and Italy, also have lower incidences of neurodegenerative diseases,” said Robert Beelman, Professor of food science at Penn State University.
“People in countries like the US, which has low amounts of ergothioneine in the diet, have a higher probability of diseases like Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s.
“Now, whether that’s just a correlation or causative, we don’t know.
“But, it’s something to look into, especially because the difference between the countries with low rates of neurodegenerative diseases is about three milligrams per day, which is about five button mushrooms each day.”
The antioxidants in the mushrooms help to destroy harm chemicals, known as free radicals.
Free radicals can cause a number of health conditions, including cancer and heart disease.
Eating a healthy, balanced diet could also lower your risk of dementia, according to the NHS.
A diet high in saturated fat, salt and sugar could increase your risk of high blood pressure and diabetes – both of which are risk factors for dementia.
Regular exercise could lower the chances of developing a neurodegenerative condition.
Aim to do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity every week.