Although diet seems to be the most significant factor to prevent dementia, other factors such as physical exercises, mental exercises, living environment, and social life all contribute to keeping your cognitive function healthy.
Today, let me talk about social life.
One of the reasons why Ikigai Diet doesn’t set any rules is that we value social life and setting strict rules on your diet sometimes restrict your social interaction with others. It is possible to form a network of friends who follow the same diet, so if you can do it, that is also fine. Nevertheless, it isn’t always easy to do so, and in that case, you can design your diet to allow social interaction.
I believe that 70% of your diet affects your body, not 100%, therefore, you can break rules from time to time, and that’s not the end of the world. I usually make exceptions when I socialize with others, and yet I can maintain my diet 70% or over. On top of that, I am never fed up with my diet, and I think it is because of those breaks. When people ask me, it must be boring to be just eating natto, fermented brown rice, and vegetables, I say, not really, I had ramen the other day-haha.
Having said that it is better if you can form a network of friends who practice Ikigai Diet. Since you discovered this sickness-free-great lifestyle, you want to introduce it to other people so that you can enjoy the healthy old age together. As we get older, we often hear friends talking about the last time they went to the hospital and so on, more and more health becomes the main topic of our conversation. They would be happy to hear about your diet. They wouldn’t look at you with surprised eyes like they did when we were younger. Instead, they want to be part of it, if it improves their health condition. You will be appreciated and they will bring more people to your dinner party; you will be popular.
Anyway, it is a good idea to form a network called local network in the area you live in. It is a local network of people who can help one another. It is more like bringing back a neighborhood community which was present in nearly all small towns.
One of the factors to support longevity in Blue Zones and Japanese Satoyama is having an active social life based in their local communities.
Traditional neighborhood communities have some problems such as being conservative and so on. Therefore you can start a new one with up to date culture. In the local network, you can have a community garden to grow organic food together, or you can buy organic produce from a farm together, you can go Nordic walking or practice yoga together, you can form a study group, discussion group, or counseling group, and you can have dinner parties to share ikigai dishes.
You can find out about a local network in Hino town where I live in the following post.
Is the local network in Hino town different from an ecovillage or a transition initiative?
Anyway, to prevent dementia, you can practice Ikigai Diet, engage in some physical exercises you can enjoy, create a living environment where you are more exposed to nature and diverse bacteria, read books and continue studying, find a new ikigai, think positive, and have an active social life possibly forming a local network in the area you live.