Posted by Dr. White on 10/18/2013 to Brain Health
There are several benefits to maintaining brain health to ensure excellent memory function while aging. In addition to cognition, the human brain assists with basic body functions such as breathing. While many people understand caring for the body by exercising and eating properly, the health of the brain is often ignored. Due to the larger numbers of elderly individuals, medical conditions such as dementia or Alzheimer’s disease are receiving more attention. Medical researchers are trying to find ways to increase brain health to help patients living in memory care units in assisted living facilities and nursing homes.
At the same time, it is important to learn better ways to help younger individuals improve brain health. Improving nutritional habits is a vital part of increasing overall body health including the brain. Consuming fresh fruits and vegetables several times a day will provide minerals, vitamins and antioxidants that help people feel better. Protein is also necessary to add amino acids to the body that provide energy and strengthen muscles. While too much animal fat consumption can lead to dangerous health conditions such as strokes from clogged arteries, a small amount of particular types of fat assists brain functioning.
Many individuals find it difficult to maintain a healthy diet on a regular basis. Using dietary supplements to add nutrients to the body can improve an individual’s brain health. Loss of brain cells is a major issue as people age leading to loss of cognitive functions. Adding vitamin B supplements can assist individuals with preventing brain shrinkage. Experts also recommend flavonoid supplements including ginkgo biloba to enhance memory functions. Specialists also suggest that dementia patients add ginkgo biloba supplements to increase blood flow to the brain while reducing cell damage from free radicals.
Remaining physically active is another way to keep the brain in optimal condition. Physical activity such as walking or swimming assists with providing more oxygen to the body to increase the body’s blood circulation. Many sport activities also get people outside in direct sunlight. While ultraviolet rays are unhealthy for the skin, absorbing vitamin D through skin tissue helps individuals have a happier mood. A positive mood keeps an individual’s brain in a healthier condition. Mental depression, constant anxiety and stressful feelings damage an individual’s cognition and memory.
Challenging the brain by learning new information or using its cognitive abilities is also important. Many people enjoy crossword puzzles or memorization games to keep neurons stimulated in the brain. Additional ways to increase brain fitness is by reading books, magazines and newspapers. Individuals must also use all the body’s senses to keep various parts of the brain active. Listening to music keeps the hearing section of the brain activated to connect neurons. Tactile activities including sewing or creating artwork helps to keep an additional section of the brain healthy. A combination of proper eating habits, mental stimulation, physical exercise and dietary supplements will benefit the brain.