Tips To Keeping Your Senior Brain Healthy And Active
As we age, most of us worry about how to keep our minds sharp and healthy. While this is a worthwhile concern, there are plenty of ways to keep your brain healthy and active as you get older. The human brain is very good at adapting to change — so there is really no reason why it cannot adapt to advancing years.
Memory care and Alzheimer’s prevention are foremost in the minds of many senior adults. We all want to “grow old gracefully” while enjoying life. The good news is, you can! A little bit of effort can go a long way to helping your gray matter function at its best — no matter what your age. Here are a few things to think about.
Eat a healthy diet
It may sound cliche, but eating well is very important to proper brain function at any stage of life. Particularly important are B Vitamins and healthy-fat compounds like DHA. Foods high in B Vitamins include fish, meats, fortified cereals, leafy greens, bananas, and chicken eggs. DHA is found in fish and many supplements. Avoiding low-carbohydrate diets is also important, as your brain uses glucose as its only source of fuel.
Get plenty of mental activity
Research suggests that memory loss can be lessened by as much as 30 to 50% with some simple mental exercise. Just like muscles may atrophy with inactivity, your brain can lose its fitness if it doesn’t get rigorous use. Mental exercise can include regular, stimulating conversation, reading, crossword puzzles, engaging in hobbies, and thinking games that engage your mind. If you or loved ones live in an assisted living center or rest home, ask the staff about social activities and games that are available on the premises.
Control your cholesterol and blood pressure
Recent studies have found a relationship between cardiovascular health and good cognitive function. Poor cardiovascular condition is a primary cause of stroke and heart disease, which are believed to be contributing factors to dementia and stroke. Keep your heart healthy, and your brain is more likely to be healthy, too.
Staying physically and mentally active as we age are vital components to a healthy and fit mind. And the sharper your mind is, the more fun life can be, no matter how old you get. Talk with friends and family, work on a puzzle, eat a well-balanced diet, even take a walk. Your mind — and your body — will thank you.