All Categories

14 Powerful Tips To Reduce Your Risk of Dementia and Alzheimer’s

Brain health dementia

Did you know that the overall volume of our brain already starts to shrink in our 30s and 40s, with the rate of brain shrinkage further accelerating around age 60? The frontal cortex (the region involved in short-term memory and executive thinking) and the hippocampus (the brain region involved in memory) shrink the most as decades pass. This brain shrinkage goes hand-in-hand with a slow, but steady decline in cognitive prowess. We start to forget more. We find it more difficult to come up with words. We find it more difficult to put a name on a face.

The brain is the most valuable organ that we have, because it defines who we are. It stores our identity, our character, our memories. A healthy lifestyle, including supplements, can significantly slow down the process of brain shrinkage and reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. 

So how can we protect our brain? How can we preserve our mental agility, thinking skills, and memories for longer? 

Drawing from the most recent research, we’ve developed a guide to help you maintain your brain’s health for as long as possible.

Are You Maximizing Your
Lifespan Potential?

Assess your overall health and lifespan potential with the 5-minute free NOVOS Longevity Assessment. We’ll give you your score and actionable recommendations on how to improve it.

Join our NOVOS community today to be

1. Eat a Healthy Brain Diet

Food is of course very important for your brain. Your brain uses ten times more energy than normal tissues, and needs large amounts of nutrients to function properly. So it’s very susceptible to an unhealthy diet that provides too much, or the wrong fuel to your brain. Also, the brain is very maintenance intensive. So it needs many building blocks to function properly, like magnesium, zinc, choline, omega-3 fatty acids, and many other substances. 

Eating well will make you feel better, think better and stay better for longer, staving off not just Alzheimer’s disease but also depression and anxiety. In fact, nutrition is the best technology we have to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. These are some foods you need to eat to keep your brain at its best: 

Blue and Red Fruit – But Especially Blue Fruit

Blueberries, bilberries, and blackberries are wonderful brain foods. They contain substances that protect the brain from damage, such as anthocyanidins, and can slow down aging. But red fruits, like strawberries and raspberries, are also very healthy for the brain. 

Blue fruit contains a substance called pterostilbene that has beneficial effects on the aging process (learn more about pterostilbene here). The same for strawberries: they contain fisetin, which is a substance that can slow down aging. However, to achieve these lifespan effects you need much higher amounts than those found in these fruits. Blueberries and strawberries are not just healthy because of the pterostilbene or fisetin they contain, but also because of the many other flavonoids and substances. 


The powerful health benefits of herbs should not be underestimated. Oregano, rosemary, turmeric, ginger, sage, and many other herbs and spices reduce inflammation and can protect the DNA from damage, an aging process the brain is susceptible to. You can learn more about how ginger can slow down aging here.

Green Leafy Vegetables

Kale, cabbage, broccoli, spinach, and sprouts are leafy greens with brain-protective effects. 

For example, studies show that people who often eat leafy green vegetables have brains that are up to eleven years younger compared to people who do not eat a lot of green leafy vegetables (R,R). Green leafy vegetables contain important minerals, vitamins, and many other substances the brain needs to stay healthy and function properly. 

Also, vegetables don’t cause high glucose peaks in your blood (unlike potatoes, pasta, and rice), so they are ideal substitutes for these starchy foods. Given its reliance on glucose to function, the brain is very susceptible to high glucose peaks. That’s the reason why some scientists call Alzheimer’s “type 3 diabetes”. 

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fats are very important for our health, especially for the heart, eyes and brain. 

Omega-3 fats are an important component of the membranes of our cells, especially in the brain. There they make the cell membranes healthy and supple, ensuring proper communication between the brain cells. Additionally, omega-3 fats carry out many other functions in the brain and body: they can reduce inflammation, improve metabolism and increase blood flow. Reducing inflammation is especially important, because continuous low-grade inflammation damages the brain and accelerates aging (this is called “inflammaging”).Omega-3 fats are found in animals and plants. Omega-3 fats are found in fatty fish, such as salmon, herring, anchovies, and mackerel. Plant-based sources of omega-3 fatty acids are walnuts, chia seeds and flax seeds, for example.  

Dark Chocolate (at least 70% cacao)  

Dark chocolate contains brain-healthy substances like flavanols that can slow cognitive decline and protect your brain and blood vessels. Dark chocolate can also boost cognitive performance, partly because it contains substances that widen the blood vessels so that more oxygen and nutrients make it to the brain cells.

Olive Oil 

Did you know that only 4 tablespoons of olive oil can reduce inflammation just as well as Ibuprofen, a strong anti-inflammatory drug? 

Besides various anti-inflammatory substances, olive oil contains substances with a range of other healthy benefits, like reducing protein accumulation, a process that plays an important role in aging. Examples of such substances are oleocanthal and tyrosol. 

Tea and Coffee 

It’s well known that tea can reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson disease, and can reduce the risk of stroke. It can do this by reducing inflammation and keeping the blood vessels healthy. 

Coffee has somewhat of a controversial reputation online, given many websites dissuade drinking coffee, claiming it’s unhealthy. However, if you look at the whole of scientific studies done with coffee, we see that coffee has more benefits than drawbacks. Coffee can reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease (and also type 2 diabetes, heart disease and various cancers). However, don’t drink too much coffee. Keep it to a maximum of 3-5 cups per day, and ideally don’t drink coffee in the late afternoon or evening – otherwise you will have more difficulties falling asleep, which can have an unfavorable effect on Alzheimer’s of its own. 

Check out this article for an in-depth look at the benefits of coffee and tea.

Reduce Sugar and Starch Intake 

Sugar damages your brain. It can do this by increasing inflammation in the brain, and causing aging-related crosslinks. Soft drinks, pastries, cookies, and other sweets cause your sugar levels to rise and can damage your brain (scientists often call Alzheimer’s disease “type 3 diabetes”). 

But also eat less starchy foods such as bread, potatoes, rice and pasta. These foods are made up of starch, which are long chains of glucose. These starch products therefore also consist mainly of sugar, causing our blood sugar levels to rise. There are also very few vitamins, minerals and other healthy substances in starch products (compared to, for example, vegetables). The NOVOS Longevity Diet favors replacing starches like whole grain breads and pasta with more nutrient-dense alternatives such as mushrooms, vegetables, legumes, or quinoa. By reducing starch intake, the diet helps to keep glucose and insulin levels low, a crucial factor in maintaining overall health.

Avoid Unhealthy Fats

These are trans-fats in fried food, ultra-processed foods, sugary snacks, and ready-to-eat meals. Such fats are very bad for your brain. Instead, prioritize healthy oils like olive oil, flaxseed oil, walnut oil, and perilla oil.

Limit Consumption of Alcohol

In the quest to live longer, there’s been a lot of talk about alcohol. Some say that drinking moderately, especially red wine with compounds like resveratrol, might be good for your heart and help you live longer. But, when we look closer, it’s not that simple.

A study involving 371,463 people found that drinking alcohol is linked to higher risks of problems like high blood pressure, heart disease, and even death. The risks go up as you drink more. Drinking too much alcohol damages the brain. In fact, alcohol is quite neurotoxic. Regular consumption of more than two glasses of alcohol a day can damage your brain. Also, drinking once in a while five or more glasses in a few hours (binge-drinking) can exert very damaging effects on the brain. 

Therefore, limit your alcohol consumption to one glass of alcohol per day, with ideally some alcohol-free days per week. In this article, we explain how the hallmarks of aging are impacted by alcohol use.

2. Exercise

Human bodies are made to move. Our brains need daily movement to keep themselves healthy. 

Many studies have explored the connection between a sedentary lifestyle and how long we live. Some of these studies suggest that sitting for long periods is linked to a higher risk of mortality (Biswas et al., 2015; Patel et al., 2010). For instance, one study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine discovered that people who sat for over six hours a day had a 19% higher chance of dying from all-cause mortality compared to those who sat for less than three hours a day (Chau et al., 2013). Similarly, a study in the American Journal of Epidemiology found that women who sat for more than six hours daily had a 37% higher risk of dying prematurely from any cause, compared to women who sat for less than three hours daily (Katzmarzyk et al., 2009). Learn more about the impacts of sedentary lifestyle on the 12 hallmarks of aging here.

Exercise releases all kinds of healthy substances in the brain, which keep your brain younger for longer, reduce the risk of dementia, and make you function better cognitively (R,R). It’s never too late to exercise. A study showed that middle-aged people who went for a regular walk reduced their risk of Alzheimer’s by more than 45% (R). Exercise can also improve your emotional state. Research found that regular exercise is at least as effective as taking antidepressants. Not only sports, but also dancing is very healthy for your brain (and your body). Understand how you can optimize your longevity with exercise here.

3. Check If You Have Underlying Medical Problems

Various diseases, some of which you might be unaware of, can be detrimental to your brain health, especially in the long term, like high blood pressure, pre-diabetes, diabetes, atherosclerosis (the clogging up of your blood vessels), leaky gut, too much abdominal fat (“a beer belly”), low-grade systemic inflammation, and so on. 

For example, hypertension and atherosclerosis damage the thousands of miles of blood vessels in your brain, and increase your risk of stroke and Alzheimer’s disease. Too much abdominal fat (having a “beer belly”) secretes substances in the bloodstream that reach the brain and cause inflammation there, increasing the risk of Alzheimer’s. (Pre)diabetes is also very unhealthy for our brain. That is why some researchers call Alzheimer’s disease “type 3 diabetes”, referring to the fact that insulin resistance of the brain can also significantly contribute to Alzheimer’s disease. Learn here to reduce your risk, or reverse, (pre)diabetes. Get regular medical checkups to catch these problems as soon as possible.  

4. Check Which Drugs You Take

Some drugs can increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease or cognitive deterioration, like specific sedatives, antidepressants or antihistaminergic drugs used to fall asleep or treat allergies. Many of these drugs are called “anticholinergics”, which might increase the risk of dementia in the long term. Discuss any concerns you may have with your doctor.

5. Be Social

People need others to feel happy. We are social animals. Research shows that seeing people keeps your brain young. Our social connections have a substantial impact on our overall health and happiness. Research has indicated that social isolation and feeling lonely are associated with increased mortality risk, especially among older individuals (Holt-Lunstad et al., 2015). Additionally, when it comes to our mental well-being, having social ties is crucial. Social support plays a vital role in safeguarding us against conditions like depression, anxiety, and stress (Cohen, 2004). Loneliness on the other hand is very bad for our brain, and health. Studies show that loneliness can even activate transcription factors in the brain. Having little social contacts is unhealthy and increases your risk of dementia, heart disease and general mortality (R). Learn more about the importance of positive relationships, close friends, and how they impact your longevity here.

6. Relax!

If relaxation were a drug, it would be a billion-dollar blockbuster! 

Relaxation, or meditation, is super healthy. When you relax, many substances are released that are healthy for your body and brain, such as endorphins. Your body also produces fewer substances that damage the brain, such as cortisol, a stress hormone that causes blood vessels to clog faster, increases blood pressure, and increases sugar levels. Do meditation, yoga or breathing exercises. You can also do this online, or via meditation apps on your smartphone.

7. Don’t Hit Your Head

People who sustain head injuries have a higher risk of dementia. These head injuries can happen during exercising, playing, dancing, work, etc. When you hit your head hard, brain tissue gets damaged each time. So next time you want to headbutt a ball, use your head (only figuratively speaking!).

8. Get Enough Sleep

People underestimate the great importance of sufficient, regular sleep. Sleep enables our brain to recover and repair itself. Sufficient sleep keeps the brain healthy. People who sleep too little are at greater risk for Alzheimer’s disease (and many other diseases). We compiled 50 science-based tips to sleep better here.

9. Take The Right Brain Supplements

Even if you follow a very healthy diet, it’s very difficult to get enough nutrients that are important for your brain. We explain why here. Various nutrients are important for your brain, and of which many people are deficient. These are supplements like: 

  • B vitamin complex (containing all B vitamins, like vitamin B12, B6, B3, B1, etc). 
  • Zinc
  • Selenium
  • Vitamin D
  • Iodine
  • Omega-3 fatty acids

Learn more about the most important supplements to take. Also, read here why we need to take supplements, even if we eat healthy.

However, no supplement can provide the hundreds of other micronutrients that are important for brain health, and which you have to derive from a varied, healthy diet.

Besides health supplements, there are also anti-aging or longevity supplements, which specifically slow down aging.

10. Improve Your Gut

What’s in your gut has a great impact on your brain. 

The 40,000 billion bacteria that live in your gut secrete thousands of different substances that can enter your bloodstream and impact how your brain works, and influence your cognitive abilities and even your feelings. Scientists call this the “gut-brain axis”. The bacteria in your gut secrete substances such as neurotransmitters, neuropeptides and inflammatory molecules, which influence the brain. 

If you eat unhealthy food, you have a gut microbiome that secretes unhealthy substances that make you feel bad and that can impair your thinking. For a healthy microbiome it’s important to consume a lot of water-soluble fibers from vegetables, fruit, nuts, mushrooms and legumes. Also eat less sugar and starch (including bread, potatoes, pasta and rice), since starch is made of glucose. Too much glucose can cause overgrowth of unhealthy bacteria in the gut (which love glucose). Fermented foods are also great for your gut. Try preventing deficiencies of vitamin A, vitamin D, zinc, iodine and selenium: these vitamins contribute to a healthy, strong intestinal immune system.

You can also take a probiotic, but make sure that it contains sufficiently different types of bacteria (not just lactobacilli). Everyone is different, and even more so their gut microbiomes, so while one brand can work for one person, it does not for another person. So try out different brands, and see which brand works best for you. 

You can learn more about the different gut axes in this article and discover different approaches to modulating the gut microbiome here.

11. Challenge Your Brain

Like a muscle, your brain thrives on challenges and benefits from regular exercise. Without exposing your brain to new experiences, it can lose its vitality over time. Consider the following activities:

  • Read books
  • Solve puzzles
  • Play brain-boosting games
  • Learn a new language 
  • Challenge yourself with strategy games like chess
  • Take on a new hobby
  • Try memorizing every day things such as phone numbers, quotes, songs
  • Become a volunteer
  • Learn to play an instrument
  • Learn to dance
  • Learn to paint or draw

12. Quit Smoking

We all know that smoking is not healthy. But it’s terribly unhealthy for your brain. Smoking damages and constricts the thousands of little blood vessels that run through your brain. Smoking contains many substances that damage brain cells, increasing your risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. And at the same time increase your risk of lung cancer, heart attacks, kidney cancer, wrinkles, strokes, emphysema, impotence and more.

13. Practice Positive Psychology

A happy brain is a healthy brain. Stress damages the brain, increasing your risk of dementia. Try to learn to be happy. Yes, that’s possible! You can train your brain to be happy! We summed up dozens of the best tips to improve happiness here.

14. Take Supplements That Slow Down Aging

One of our previous tips was to take supplements. These are supplements that your brain needs to function properly, such as B vitamins, zinc, and omega-3 fatty acids.

However, there are also supplements that aim to slow down aging itself. These supplements contain substances that inhibit specific aging mechanisms, including protein accumulation, mitochondrial dysfunction, DNA damage, epigenetic changes, and more. NOVOS Core is the only product on the market formulated to target the 12 root causes of aging. These processes cause aging, but also greatly contribute to brain aging and dementia. In fact, we see that accumulation of proteins plays an important role in Alzheimer’s disease.

Explore Products


Our foundational formulation, NOVOS Core, targets all the root causes of aging to promote longevity, appearance, cognition, and energy. Slow down aging with these 12 highly-effective longevity ingredients in one daily dose, which you can mix with water to drink. Each box contains 30 packets for a one-month supply.


NOVOS Boost is your best NMN supplement, containing high-quality, high-purity NMN which is 3rd party tested. NOVOS' team consists of the brightest minds in the longevity field.

NOVOS Age Unboxing


Track your pace of aging and learn about the impacts of lifestyle changes. Includes comprehensive guidance on how to improve your scores with lifestyle upgrades.