Are there secrets to living a long and healthy life? We can’t stop or reset our biological clocks but we can be proactive to keep our bodies healthy and fit. The brain is a good spot to start since this organ controls just about everything we do.
Feed Your Brain
A healthy foods lower blood sugar and improve cognition. Cognition is the ability to acquire knowledge by reasoning, intuition, or perception. Foods that are high in omega 3 fatty acids such as almonds, walnuts, salmon, and tuna are beneficial to brain health. The Mediterranean diet which emphasizes fruits, vegetables, olive oil, and whole grains offers many sources of omega 3 fatty acids. The website for the University of Maryland Medical Center states that omega 3 fatty acids are highly concentrated in the brain and appear to play a major role in memory and behavioral function.
By its very nature, the brain is particularly vulnerable to oxidative damage. Free radicals, which are molecules that react easily, cause oxidative damage to neurons and a loss of function. Research conducted at the Harvard Medical School found people who eat green leafy vegetables and cruciferous vegetable, both high in antioxidants, experienced a slower rate of decline in cognitive function.
Exercise Your Brain
Use it or lose it. Most age-related memory loss results from inactivity, lack of mental exercise and stimulation.
To keep young and fit, you need to exercise your brain as well as your body. Brain teasers offered on video or computer games are a good way to boost the formation of new neuron connections and improve response time and memory. Once you have mastered the brain teaser, no new neuron connections form. So, move on to new challenges, such as word or number puzzles. The AARP website suggests an exercise to stimulate the neural and spatial centers of the brain, which normally atrophy with age. Stare straight ahead and without moving your eyes, see how much you can visualize what is in the periphery.
Stimulate your brain by continuing to learn something new everyday, if possible. Take a class, attend a seminar, or join a book club. Keep abreast with current events.