Maintain your brain as you age
Everyone’s brain changes as they age. Since our cognitive functions peak at age 30, it’s important to do all we can to keep our brains fit as we age. Like our bodies, there are things we can do to combat changes cognitive decline. Research suggests that good nutrition combined with social, mental and physical activities benefit your health and the health of your brain. Here are a few ways to keep your brain healthy and fit as you age.
Move it. Staying active and exercising can benefit anyone at any age. However, as you age, staying active becomes even more important … especially for your brain. Several studies have found an association between physical activity and the reduced risk of cognitive decline. Everything counts – walking, running, tennis, yoga – anything that gets your blood pumping. The key to staying active is to find activities that you enjoy.
Feed it. Good nutrition can help keep your mind and body in tip-top shape.
Foods high in antioxidants, good fats, vitamins and minerals are especially good for the brain. They provide energy and aid in protecting against brain disease. Here are some of the best foods brain superfoods.
- Avocados. A green powerhouse packed with “good” fats to keep your blood sugar levels steady and your skin glowing.
- Celery. Low in calories and can reduce symptoms related to inflammation, like joint pain and irritable bowel syndrome.
- Beets. They reduce inflammation, are high in cancer-protecting antioxidants and help rid your blood of toxins.
- Coconut Oil. This wonder food contains easy to digest healthy fats that act as a natural anti-inflammatory and is proven to help with age-related memory loss.
- Blueberries. Great things come in small packages! High in antioxidants, blueberries can protect our brains from stress and reduce age-related cognitive decline.
- Broccoli. Packed with high levels of vitamin K and C, this superfood can help to keep your memory sharp!
- Dark Chocolate. Known to lower blood pressure and improve blood flow to both the brain and heart.
- Green Leafy Vegetables. Eating brain foods like kale, Swiss chard and romaine lettuce can help keep dementia at bay.
- Walnuts. Packed with high levels of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, walnuts can improve mental alertness and can ward off Alzheimer’s.
Challenge it. Think of it as giving your brain a workout routine. The goal is to sharpen your mental skills and improve your memory. Here are a few simple everyday activities that can help you keep your brain fit.
- Word Puzzles. Do you read the newspaper? Take it a step further and complete the crossword, sudoku or word search puzzle.
- Don’t use a calculator. Do math in your head instead of writing it down or using a calculator.
- Test your ability to recall details. Write down and memorize your daily to-do or grocery list. An hour later, recreate the list to see how many items you can recall.
- Keep your hand-eye skills sharp. Pull out the knitting needles, paint, play tennis or simply doodle to keep your fine-motor skills in check.
Give it a rest. Get some shut-eye! The National Sleep Foundation recommends getting seven to nine hours of sleep each night to keep your mind and body healthy. Feeling better, making better decisions and having a sharper memory are just a few of the benefits of getting a good night’s rest.
Laugh a little. Last but definitely not least, add some humor to your life! Laughing reduces stress and improves memory. The best part — it’s and can be shared!
Start now, it’s never too late or too early to incorporate healthy habits into your life.