We know that cognitive decline is a part of aging, but experts say you can slow down this process significantly by living a healthy life.
No one wants to live their golden years with dementia and health experts say we can have an influence on the health of our brains by taking steps that are actually great for our overall health as well. Doctors say research is showing that certain lifestyle choices have a huge impact on how we age, how we think, and how we feel. They say to keep your brain healthy:
1. Exercise regularly. Research says this is possibly the number one thing we can do for our brains as studies shows that physically active people are less likely to experience a decline in their mental function.
2. Get enough sleep. Lots of research is showing that sleep is when our brains clear abnormal proteins that contribute to cognitive decline. It’s also an opportunity for our brains to repair and organize. Best is seven or eight hours each night.
3. Eat healthy foods. Harvard Health says people who eat a Mediterranean style diet which includes fruits, vegetables, fish, nuts, unsaturated oils and less red meat, are less likely to develop cognitive impairment and dementia.
4. Use your brain! Do things that stimulate your brain activity like puzzles, reading, and learning new things. Challenge yourself with whatever activity you like that gets you thinking.
5. Watch your blood pressure. Blood flow to the brain impacts our ability to think and remember and so experts say if our blood pressure is too high or too low, this can contribute to cognitive problems.
6. Socialize and get involved. Many people tend to begin to isolate a bit as they age which experts say contributes not only to loneliness, but to our overall health, and especially brain health.
Certain foods like antioxidant rich blueberries have been shown to delay aging and improve memory. Coffee has been shown to impact brain health because it boosts awareness and mood and it may even offer some protection against Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.