When you think about being healthier for longer, think Alzheimer's disease, dementia and memory loss.
When you think about physical fitness, you generally think from the neck down. But your brain health plays a critical role in almost everything you do: thinking, feeling, remembering, working, and playing—even sleeping.
Maintain optimum brain health throughout your life.
A healthy heart
Your brain health has everything to do with your heart health. Remember, what is good for your heart is also good for your head.
The strongest evidence linking brain health to heart health is that your heart pumps about 20 percent of your blood to your brain, where billions of brain cells are nourished by oxygen and nutrients from your blood.
Consequently, if your heart is not pumping well, or if your brain’s blood vessels are damaged, your brain cells may have trouble getting all the food and oxygen they need. Insufficient blood flow to your brain cells may result in poor nourishment, leading to cognitive decline, dementia and neurological dysfunction—which are all signs of aging.
Breathing affects your brain health because it supplies oxygen to your brain cells.
Always maintain good posture, which leads to healthy breathing and consequently a healthy heart. Learn to breathe right!
Your brain cells need nutrients, which are transported to them through your blood vessels. A healthy diet makes a healthy brain. Given that any condition that damages your heart or blood vessels can adversely affect your brain’s blood supply, and hence nutrients to your brain, a healthy heart complements a healthy brain.
Consume a diet rich in vegetables, fruits, fiber and low-fat dairy products, with a reduced level of sodium and saturated and total fat, to get all the good nutrients for your brain health. Eat only super foods.
If you drink, limit alcohol intake to two drinks a day for men and one for women for better brain health.
A brain-healthy diet is one that reduces the risk of heart disease and diabetes, encourages good blood flow to the brain, and is low in fat and cholesterol. Like the heart, the brain needs the right balance of nutrients, including protein and sugar, to function well. A brain-healthy diet is most effective when combined with physical and mental activities and social interactions to provide the best brain health for you.
A long-term study of 1,500 adults found that those who were obese in middle age were twice as likely to develop dementia in later life, and those who also had high cholesterol and high blood pressure had six times the risk for dementia.
- Reduce your intake of fat and cholesterol. Studies have shown that high intake of saturated fat and cholesterol clogs the arteries and is associated with higher risk for Alzheimer’s disease.
- Use mono- and polyunsaturated fats, such as olive oil. Avoid trans-fat in processed foods.
- Avoid fad diets, which only temporarily control your weight but permanently upset your body metabolism.
Exercise, walking, or other moderate exercise for 30 minutes each day not only pumps up your heart, making it younger and healthier, but also maintains your body weight. Yoga, in particular, is ideal for weight loss for any age.
Controlling your body weight holds the key to preventing Alzheimer's disease, which impairs brain health.
Stephen LauCopyright© by Stephen Lau