Several readers have asked about the best ways to maintain their brain health. Before laying out any money for the latest brain health supplements that are advertised on Google and other search engines, consider the basic lifestyle choices below.
There is a large and growing body of research evidence that confirms these important facts on brain health:
Tip One: A healthy heart supports a healthy brain.
Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia, but vascular related dementia runs a close second. High blood pressure, high cholesterol, and heart disease all contribute to the risk of vascular dementia, which many times will overlap with Alzheimer’s as well.
Bottom line: Keeping good cardiovascular health is good for your brain.
Tip Two: Using your head as a battering ram is a bad idea.
Most of us can recall getting knocked on the head at least once, usually from childhood. Our brains can be resilient, but care should be taken to protect it, and one should also avoid multiple, repetitive concussions. Many former NFL players struggle with CTE, a debilitating brain disease linked to a history of multiple concussions on the playing field.
Bottom line: Wear a helmet for sporting activities, including cycling, motorbiking, snowboarding, etc. In addition, using a seatbelt reduces head injuries in vehicle accidents.
Tip Three: Diet and food choices can affect your brain health.
Brain health food = heart health food, which means a little bit of red meat, and a lot of whole grains, fruits and vegetables, fish and shellfish. The key here is to maintain a relatively healthy pattern and balance on diet choices.
Why is healthy eating good for a healthy brain? In a word, diabetes. Diabetes rates are skyrocketing, and there is a strong and consistent link between dementia and diabetes.
Bottom line: Avoid fried food and fast food most of the time. Put fish, chicken, whole grains, fruits & vegetables on the daily menu.
Tip Four: Social and intellectual stimulation is healthy for your brain.
Our brain grows new connections all the time, especially when we are learning something brand new. Isolation, chronic stress and depression can negatively affect brain health. Conversely, social and emotional support can positively affect brain health, even in times of stress.
Bottom line: Be curious about the world around you. Have a social network that’s good for you. Also, you can try your hand at some brain tests for memory and cognitive function..