By Dietitian Avril
As you become older, your body and brain will change. Every brain changes with age, and so does mental performance. Mental deterioration is common, and it is one of the most dreaded side effects of ageing. However, cognitive deterioration is not unavoidable. There are certain things you may do to assist decrease memory deterioration and reduce your chance of acquiring Alzheimer's disease or other dementias. Here are six things that can help you keep your brain young.
1. Exercise regularly.
There are several proven advantages to exercise, and it appears that regular physical activity improves the brain. Several studies have found that persons who are physically active are less likely to have a loss in their mental function and are less likely to get Alzheimer's disease.
Research found that animals who exercise frequently increase the number of microscopic blood arteries that deliver oxygen-rich blood to the part of the brain responsible for cognition. Exercise also promotes the formation of new nerve cells and strengthens the connections between brain cells (synapses). This leads in more efficient, malleable, and adaptable brains, which translates to improved performance in older animals.
Aim to exercise for 30-60 minutes multiple times each week. Walk, swim, play tennis, or engage in any other mild aerobic exercise that raises your heart rate.
2. Get enough rest.
Sleep is critical to your brain's wellness. According to some ideas, sleep aids in the removal of aberrant proteins in the brain and the consolidation of memories, hence improving general memory and brain health.
It is critical that you strive to obtain seven to eight hours of uninterrupted sleep every night, rather than two- or three-hour chunks. Consecutive sleep allows your brain to consolidate and remember memories more efficiently.
Anxious, melancholy, sleep-deprived, or fatigued people do badly on cognitive function tests. Poor scores may not always imply an increased risk of cognitive decline in old age, although good mental health and enough rest are unquestionably significant goals.
3. Follow a Mediterranean-style diet.
Your diet has a significant impact on your brain health. According to studies, persons who adhere to a Mediterranean diet are less likely to get Alzheimer's disease than those who do not. The Mediterranean diet emphasises plant-based meals, whole grains, seafood, and healthy fats like olive oil. It has far less red meat and salt than the average American diet.
More study is needed to identify which aspects of your food have the most influence on your brain performance. However, we do know that omega fatty acids present in extra-virgin olive oil and other healthy fats are essential for cell function, appear to lower your risk of coronary artery disease, and improve mental concentration and reduce cognitive decline in older persons.
4. Maintain mental alertness.
Your brain is analogous to a muscle in that you must utilise it or lose it. Scientists have discovered that brainy activities create new connections between nerve cells and may even help the brain manufacture new cells, establishing neurological "plasticity" and accumulating a functional reserve that serves as a hedge against future cell loss.
Any cognitively engaging activity should aid in brain development. Read, enrol in classes, and engage in "mental gymnastics" such as word puzzles, Sudoku, reading, playing cards, putting together a jigsaw puzzle, or solving arithmetic problems. Experiment with activities that demand both bodily and cerebral skill, such as drawing, painting, and other crafts. Finally, avoid excessive television viewing because it is a passive pastime that does little to excite your brain.
5. Maintain your social involvement.
Social connection helps to prevent sadness and stress, which can both lead to memory loss. Look for ways to connect with loved ones, friends, and others, particularly if you live alone. Solitary confinement has been linked to brain shrinkage in studies, thus being socially active may have the opposite impact and increase your brain's health.
6. Try health supplements.
Perhaps you dislike the flavour of a specific meal, or it is prohibitively pricey. Maybe you don't have time to cook a nutritious meal every day, or it doesn't digest well. Whatever the cause, health supplements are just a good method to boost your entire health, including your brain health. The vitamins listed here are some of the finest for your memory and brain health.
Ginkgo biloba is a popular memory and brain health supplement. It can aid with short-term memory, enhance blood circulation to the brain, and is notably beneficial for symptom management and reducing the progression of early dementia and Alzheimer's disease. Ginkgo biloba is recognised for its blood-thinning properties, so only take the prescribed amount.
Turmeric has been demonstrated to provide meaningful brain advantages within an hour of consumption. Turmeric aids in the removal of free radicals that are hazardous to general brain health as well as the reduction of plaque in the brain that causes Alzheimer's. It has also been shown to aid focus and memory by increasing blood flow to the brain. However, turmeric is notoriously difficult for the body to absorb, so pick a supplement containing the black pepper extract piperine or a liposomal delivery mechanism to aid absorption.
FRENCH GRAPE & WILD BLUEBERRY
Memophenol ™ is a patented formulation that combines French grape and wild blueberry extracts that are high in necessary polyphenols for cognitive function and have been scientifically evaluated for short-term and long-term memory and learning. It helps to improve short-term memory by 60% and restores long-term memory by delaying brain aging by 10 years in 6 months.
It's time to stop thinking that there's nothing you can do to improve your memory and brain function after you reach a certain age. Your brain is always evolving, for better or for worse. Begin taking care of your brain now, and it will begin to take better care of you.
- Donn Dexter, M. D. (2020, June 12). 5 tips to Keep your brain healthy. Mayo Clinic Health System. Retrieved October 28, 2022, from https://www.mayoclinichealthsystem.org/hometown-health/speaking-of-health/5-tips-to-keep-your-brain-healthy
- 12 ways to keep your brain young. Harvard Health. (2022, May 13). Retrieved October 28, 2022, from https://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/12-ways-to-keep-your-brain-young
- 19, J. (2018, July 19). 9 ways to improve your memory and Brain Health. Zenwise. Retrieved October 28, 2022, from https://zenwise.com/blogs/news/want-to-be-smarter-learn-these-research-proven-ways-to-improve-your-memory-brain-health
- What is memophenol™?: The active ingredient in Memrise. Memrise. (n.d.). Retrieved October 28, 2022, from https://www.memrise.co.za/memophenol