We all get a little more forgetful as we age but if we take care of our brain health we can slow the decline and keep our brain active. Following these three tips can keep your brain agile and active for as long as possible.
You are what you eat
Research has shown a link between diet and cognitive decline and dementia, including Alzheimer's disease. This indicates that by eating certain foods and avoiding others that you can slow ageing by up to 7.5 years and reduce the chances of getting Alzheimer’s.
- Load up on vegetables
Researchers found that green leafy vegetables like kale, collards, spinach or lettuce were specifically shown to lower the risk of dementia and cognitive decline.
Greens are packed with nutrients linked to better brain health like folate, vitamin E, carotenoids and flavonoids. And one serving a day has been shown to slow brain aging.
- Use berries as sweeteners
Research on diet and brain health, shows that berries are the most beneficial fruit for brain health. This has been credited to the high levels of flavonoids they contain
which have beneficial anti-inflammatory effects which protect cells from oxidative damage that can lead to disease.
It is also thought that berries change the way neurons in the brain communicate. These changes in signalling can prevent inflammation in the brain that contribute to neuronal damage and improve both motor control and cognition.
- Snack on nuts
Packed with fat-soluble vitamin E, which is known for its brain-protective qualities nuts can be a great brain protective snack as these foods contain omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants.
A 2014 study found that a higher overall nut intake was linked to better brain function in older age.
- Eat more fish
Your brain uses omega-3s to build brain and nerve cells, and these fats are essential for learning and memory , fatty fish contains omega 3 so the more you eat the better it is for your brain
Omega 3’s are thought to slow age-related mental decline and help ward off Alzheimer’s disease as found in recent studies.
- Cook with olive oil
Olive oil is thought to ward off cognitive decline. Higher intake of monounsaturated fats improves memory and other cognitive functions in seniors. Eating a Mediterranean diet high in olive oil can reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease by up to 40% and boost mental wellness.
Olive oil is high in brain protective anti-oxidants, vitamins E and K all of which have brain health benefits and help to keep us sharper as we age as shown in recent research.
Physical activity is good for most parts of your body and can also improve your cognitive health.
In a recent study, older adults underwent yearly physical exams and cognitive tests for 20 years and agreed to donate their brains for research when they died. The participants were given accelerometers, which tracked their movement and physical activity around the clock.
Those who moved more scored better on the memory and thinking tests, and every increase in physical activity by one standard deviation was associated with a 31% lower risk of dementia, the researchers reported.
Studies have shown that every time your move your body, a number of beneficial neurotransmitters, including dopamine, norepinephrine, serotonin and acetylcholine, gets released into your brain.
Studies have also shown that one workout session can improve your reaction times —helping you think, learn, problem-solve, and enjoy an emotional balance
Physical activity may benefit the brain as it:
- Promotes cardiovascular health.
- Improves blood flow to the brain.
- Reduces inflammation.
- Lowers levels of stress hormones.
Mental ‘exercise’ also protects your brain
.Research suggests that engaging in mentally stimulating activities helps build your cognitive reserve, your ability to withstand adverse brain changes before you exhibit symptoms. Experts believe that people who have attained a higher education level or have been exposed to more brain-stimulating activities may be more resilient to these negative effects.
People of all ages can benefit from incorporating a few brain exercises into their lives to stay mentally sharp for the long haul. All it takes is a few minutes each day. Studies have found it’s most beneficial to work on these exercises a little bit each day, instead of spending a few hours each week.
There are many proven ways to participate in mental activity, you could try:
- Jigsaw puzzles
- Learn a language
- Learn a dance
- Learn a new instrument
- Drive or walk a different route
- Do a crossword puzzle
The old saying use it or lose it is true for brain health, by participating in brain activities we are doing the best we can for the long term.
Having said all of the above, your brain needs rest as well. It can only soak up so much information at a time so taking down time can help refresh and reboot and make you more productive. Your brain is actually designed to have regular rest periods, it has two modes one which allows you to be active and do things and the other is called the default mode (DMN) and we use it when our mind switches off.
There are many ways to rest your brain, including the following:
- Get some sleep- one in three adults don’t get enough sleep, so prioritising your rest time is important to keep healthy. For adults between 7-8 hours per. Night is recommended.
- Practice mindfulness – taking just a few minutes to process your thoughts, notice your senses and unplug can have great benefits for your brain. Health.
- Do a brain dump – when you brain gets overcrowded it can help to write everything down and organising your thoughts, this can help with clarity and help you relax
- Get fresh air - Research shows that spending just 20 minutes outside each day can improve your mental well-being. Additionally, breathing in some fresh air can help improve your ability to concentrate.
- Take a shower: The shower is one of the only places many people truly relax and clear their mind.,
- Taking a catnap: A catnap might be just what you need as catnaps allow your brain to re-charge
- Daydream – is the most common way to engage DMN, if you can lull yourself into a positive day dream it can leave you feeling relaxed and give your brain a rest.
It’s never too late to incorporate healthy habits into your lifestyle, which can improve your brain health. Adding a superfood juice to your daily diet is a simple way to do this. Delivered frozen straight to your door, they provide the nutrient boost that you could need. To order yours visit our shop here today.