Maintaining brain health is an important aspect of overall healthy aging. While the brain ages naturally, there are steps you can take to help assist with keeping your mind healthy and sharp.
Steps to keep your brain young:
According to www.healthharvard.edu, the following can help you maintain a healthy brain.
• Stimulate your mind. Read, take courses, or engage in crafts, especially those that require hand-eye coordination, such as drawing or knitting.
• Socialize with others or play with a pet. Studies show interaction with others is helpful in maintaining a healthy brain.
• Engage in physical activity. Exercise has been proven to help you think clearly, aids in the development of new nerve cells, increases oxygen to the brain, and enhances helpful brain chemicals.
• Choose a healthy diet.
Eating to keep your brain young:
1. A reduced caloric intake has been linked to a lower risk of mental decline.
2. Gets enough of the Bs. Consuming folic acid, B6 and B12 has been linked to a lower likelihood of developing dementia. Foods such as leafy green vegetables, garbanzo beans, sunflower seeds, and chicken contains vitamin Bs.
3. Eat eggs. They’re a great source of protein, iron, zinc, and vitamin D, all great nutrients for your brain. Eggs are also packed with choline, which is essential to memory.
4. Consume omega-3 fatty acids. Found in fatty fish, omega-3s help reduce inflammation throughout the body. Individuals with higher intakes of omega-3 fatty acids have less of a risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and age-related cognitive decline.
5. Eat more berries. Strawberries and blueberries are high in antioxidants, which reduce inflammation and protect brain cells from stress.
Mind exercise to keep your brain young:
Like your body, your brain needs to be exercised, strengthened, and challenged to remain young, according to www.helpguide.org. Here are some examples of mind exercises to try:
• Practice mnemonic devices. Pronounced “nemonic,” these exercises are clues that help with memorization. An example is visual imaging, associating an image with a word or name to remember. When you meet someone whose last name sounds like bird, find a way to associate that person with a bird, and you’ll have an easier time remembering the name. For more mnemonic devices, check out this link
• Laugh. Laughter engages multiple regions across the brain, which is beneficial to brain health. In addition, listening to jokes and anticipating punch lines activates areas of the brain involved with learning.
• Step out of your routine. Simply driving home by taking a different route or performing your daily tasks in a different manner can be beneficial to your mind.
Additional tips for maintaining a healthy brain:
• Focus. Pay attention when learning something new or performing a task.
• See it, hear it, and write it. Similar to how you learned when you were in school, the more ways you experience an idea, the more likely you are to remember it.
• Learn in intervals. Don’t cram information into your brain, as many students do before exams. Instead, review what you’re trying to remember and rehearse it at different intervals. This style of absorbing information helps the brain process and retain better.
Experts agree that by following these simple steps, you can help keep your brain young, reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s disease, and stay sharp for many years to come.
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