Our brain’s neural connections start declining as early as age 20; and by age 45, this decline occurs even more rapidly, which may lead to increased frequency of forgetfulness, poorer concentration and slower reaction times. Fortunately there is a solution and it's consistent with the solution for overall health and vitality. Maintaining brain health depends on proper nutrition, regular exercise and healthy circulation.
Keep reading, watching and listening, to learn why age-related mental decline happens and, more importantly, what we can do about it from Nutritional Biochemist and Shaklee's Chief Research Scientist, Dr. Bruce Daggy and Shaklee's Chair of Medical Affairs, Health Science & Education, Dr. Jamie McManus.
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Posted on Shaklee Health Wise, September 13, 2014
Research in the area of brain health has exploded in the past few years, and just as if you were training your body for a big race, there is a clear pathway that leads towards better brain health.
- Be active: If you don’t have a regular exercise program, start one. Any exercise will help improve blood flow to the brain and encourage the growth of new brain cells. Regular exercise also reduces the risk of heart disease and diabetes (two big risk factors for poor brain health). Your exercise program doesn’t have to be strenuous, even walking can help.
- Eat well: A low-fat, low-cholesterol diet full of fruits and vegetables, especially dark leafy greens, is good for both your brain and your heart. A recent Harvard University study suggested that eating five daily servings of fruits and vegetables might lower your stroke risk by as much as 30 percent.
- Stay healthy: When you think about what is good for the brain, think about what is good for your heart; the two are closely related. Diabetes also greatly contributes to poor brain health. Do what you can to avoid these diseases by eating well, maintaining a healthy weight, and exercising regularly.
- Keep connected: Social connections, such as a group of close friends, church, club, or organization, appear to contribute to a better outlook for your brain. Scientists are unsure about what is the exact relationship, but it underscores how important people are for our continued health.
- Brain exercise: The “use it or lose it” principle seems to work in our brains as well as for our muscles. Doing puzzles, taking on something challenging, anything to stimulate mental networkscan help the brain.
- Stress less: Less stress is associated with better brain health, and chronic stress has especially bad effects on the brain. While stress is just a fact of modern life, there are many ways you can lessen the impact. Exercise is one of the best ways, along with meditation, yoga, prayer, and contemplation.
For those of you who may have missed it, Dr. Bruce Daggy shared optimal #BrainHealth tips during his interview with Fox 32 news in Chicago. Watch it here.
Let us know what you are doing to keep your brain healthy.
Chair of Medical Affairs, Health Science, & Education
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