May 23 , 2021
We pay more attention to the health of our body than we do the health of our brain. Just as there are many things you can do to preserve the health of your body, you can also take steps to preserve your cognitive abilities. Exciting news! You have more control over your brain health than you might think.
Taking the right steps today can help to potentially avoid serious issues, like stroke and Alzheimer's disease down the road.
The future of your brain health largely depends on what you do today so lets start taking great care of your wonderful brain!
Get enough sleep. Your body and brain don’t function properly without sleep. A lack of sleep is stressful for every component of your body. Healing and recovery occur during sleep. Your brain isn’t at its best if you’re not getting enough sleep each night. How much sleep is enough? Let your body decide, but the experts generally agree that 7-9 hours is best for adults.
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Have positive relationships. Your brain is healthier if you interact with other people in a positive way. Negative relationships have a negative impact on your brain. Spending too much time alone isn’t good for your brain either. Spend time with people you enjoy.
Avoid alcohol and tobacco. It’s no secret that consumption of alcohol and tobacco can both have negative health consequences. Limit your use of these items as much as possible.
Be mentally active each day. Do something each day to challenge your brain. Brains develop when challenged. The loss of cognitive ability due to age can be slowed, too. There are plenty of activities to choose from:
Exercises like Tennis and Ping Pong
Crossword puzzles, Sudoku, or any other brain puzzle
Study a new language.
Study a musical instrument.
Write: novel, journal, blog, poem.
Count backward from 500 by sevens.
Do math problems.
Go back to school and take a class.
Pay attention to your diet. The food you put into your body ultimately becomes your body. Think about that. Your body is composed of the things you eat and drink so you really are what you eat! Better building blocks equal a better brain so the foods you eat really do matter.
Avoid added sugar and empty calories, preservatives, overly processed foods, processed meats, and too much sodium. Try to pack your days with 5 or more servings of fruits and vegetables, especially leafy greens. Eat whole grains, get Omega-3 fatty acids from fish, seeds or a supplement. Eat a handful of nuts and seeds daily. Add spices to your food with health benefits like cinnamon, ginger, garlic, turmeric, sage, cloves, and saffron. Get more fiber by adding legumes like beans, peas and lentils to your diet.
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Lower your blood pressure. High blood pressure has several negative consequences. Among those is damaging the lining of the blood vessels, including those in your brain. This greatly contributes to the likelihood of suffering a stroke, along with many other catastrophic health issues.
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Lower your blood sugar. High blood sugar is also damaging to the lining of blood vessels. If you have blood sugar issues, it’s important to see your doctor and address it immediately. High blood pressure, high cholesterol, and high blood sugar tend to go together. It’s a dangerous combination.
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Exercise. Exercise is good for your brain and body. You already know that you should be exercising, so make sure that you’re staying active. Set an alarm on your phone, get a walking buddy, join a gym and hire a trainer if necessary, do what you need to do to get moving. Walking at a brisk pace is great for stress reduction and a perfect time to practice intentional breathing. I like to meditate and visualize when I go on my daily walk or it's great relationship building if you can go with a friend or family member.
Lower inflammation. By following the steps above you should be well on your way to decreasing inflammation in your body! Gluten, dairy, sugar, margarine and vegetable oils high in omega-6 fatty acids can be some other sources inflammation. Lower the inflammation in your body by learning about an anti-inflammatory diet or a low-glycemic diet and see if one of them is right for you. We love following a Mediterranean style approach to eating because we love eating delicious food that loves us back.
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Be Positive. Think positive thoughts and hang out with positive people. Our mood and relationships have a big impact on our overall health and stress levels so train yourself to focus on the positive in every situation. If something goes wrong think about what you can learn from the situation instead of sulking. Mental health is very important, if you think that you need help in this area please seek out a professional counselor or therapist to help you on your journey.
Many of the things that help your body, such as exercise and a healthy diet, are also good for your brain, fill two needs with one deed! Live a healthy lifestyle and keep your brain busy. You must exercise it if you want it to be at its best because exercise and breathing increase the blood flow and oxygen to your brain.
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The quality of your golden years largely depends on the quality of your brain health! Tag us with your brain health hacks @TenvisNutrition
JC Davis, Co-Founder Tenvis Nutrition, MPAS, ACE Certified Health Coach