(BPT) – When you think about health and wellness, what first comes to mind? Most likely it’s along the lines of fitness, healthy eating and doctor’s appointments. But have you ever considered the importance of brain health as you age?
According to the National Institute on Aging, research shows that a complex interaction between your DNA, diet, physical activity level, sleep quality and every other aspect of your environment affects your brain health and cognitive function. This means that your bad habits can trigger changes in your brain and contribute to the decline of your brain health.
Stay sharp as you age with these easy ways to boost your brain power:
*Eat brain food. While a good diet can improve your all-around health, certain foods keep your brain functioning optimally, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. Some of these top “brain foods” include wild salmon, nuts and seeds, avocados, blueberries, dark chocolate and whole grains. Your brain loves both omega-3 essential fatty acids and anything with antioxidants.
*Exercise your brain. Your body isn’t the only thing that needs exercise. Puzzles, brain teasers and games help create new associations within your brain to keep it fresh. As an added exercise, try completing everyday activities with your non-dominant hand, such as combing your hair and brushing your teeth.
*Continue to learn. The learning shouldn’t stop once you leave school. Continue to try new activities and test your brain by reading, taking classes or learning a language. Keep your brain active by teaching it some new tricks.
*Take a well-rounded supplement. Your brain also requires a number of vitamins and minerals to function properly. For example, the three B vitamins (folic acid, B6 and B12) are all related to healthy brain function. Be sure you are getting enough of these essential vitamins and consider taking a supplement to boost your brain power even further. The nutrients in both Super Daily and Super Premium Omega 3 Fish Oil may promote brain health*. Nutrients may support brain health and cognitive function*. Maintaining brain health contributes to a well-balanced mind, body and spirit for an all-around healthier and more active lifestyle.
*Keep a sleep schedule. Not only is sleep fundamental for regenerating your physical body, but it has restorative properties for your brain as well. A good night’s sleep helps you to look at problems in a new light and improves your ability to think creatively. If you’re having trouble getting at least six hours of sleep per night, try ditching the technology before bed. Too much screen time before you rest your eyes reduces the quality of your sleep.
*Maintain your social calendar. Humans are social creatures who need a variety of brain stimulation to maintain a sharp mind, including social activity. This becomes especially relevant as you age and your neurological processes start to slow down. Socially active older adults are less likely to develop both cognitive and physical limitations. Try a weekly card game with friends or volunteer for a local organization to continue to get out and meet new people.
For more information on brain health, visit Brainhealth.gov.