June is Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month. While there is not a cure for Alzheimer’s Disease yet, there are ways to a ensure that your brain is healthier and better-functioning. So, let’s explore the ways we can boost our brain power.
To start, what exactly is Alzheimer’s? According to the Alzheimer’s Disease and Association, Alzheimer’s is a type of dementia that causes problems with memory, thinking, and behavior. Symptoms usually develop slowly and get worse over time, becoming severe enough to interfere with daily tasks.
Now, who is at risk for Alzheimer’s Disease? Scientists have identified factors that increase the risk of Alzheimer’s. The most important risk factors are age, family history, and heredity—which can’t be changed—but emerging evidence suggests there may be other factors we can influence.
Ways to Boost Brain Power:
♦ Step It Up – There’s no escaping exercise. A recent study linked obesity in midlife to increasing the risk of Alzheimer’s.
♦ Go Mediterranean – Eat less pasta and pizza and more fresh fruit and veggies.
♦ Engage Your Brain -Do mental exercise. Play cards, join a book club, start a new hobby, learn a new language, or be artistic: buy a coloring book, do crossword puzzles or Sudoku.
♦ Stay Social – “The more social connections someone has, the better they are at preserving mental function and memory,” said Dr. Scott Turner, the director of Memory Disorders at Georgetown University.
♦ Sleep Better – Avoid big meals before bed, don’t drink caffeine or alcohol close to bedtime. The National Sleep Foundation recommends seven to eight hours per night.
♦ Lower Stress Level – High levels of stress hormone cortisol make it harder to pull information from your brain’s memory. Try meditation, yoga, or massage to help you relax.
♦ Quit Smoking – Smoking speeds up memory loss as you age.
♦ Mind Your Bs– B Vitamins lower homocysteine (an amino acid), linked to dementia. You can find in them in enriched bread, pasta, rice, and cereal, plus poultry, beans, dark leafy veggies, papayas, oranges, and cantaloupe.
♦ Munch Peanuts – Peanuts are packed with cognition-boosting resveratrol.
♦ Eat More Fish – Eat more omega-3 fatty acids (like in salmon and other cold-water fish) or take a supplement. A new study from the University of Pittsburgh found eating any baked or broiled fish once a week helped spur structural brain changes that boost memory.
Let’s not forget, forgetfulness is a natural byproduct of aging. However, one can prevent memory loss and keep your mind sharp and boost your brain power. The MInd Diet looks helpful too.
What are you purposely doing to increase your brain power as you age? Please do share in the comments section.
Have a healthy, stylish and fierce week.