There has always been a lot of attention paid to looking good into old age. The same goes with being physically fit, able to walk, bike, run and play sports are all important elements as we get older. Lately, though, more emphasis has been placed on brain health, keeping the brain fit and working in top condition, all the way into the 90s. After all, it doesn’t do anyone a bit of good to look fantastic, feel great, and be able to run around the block, if your brain has gone south. There are quite a number of things a person can do to keep their brain healthy, here are just of few of the most important.
As You Eat So Goes Your Brain
Our bodies need certain nutrients in order to stay in good health and we also need to avoid certain foods that cause us problems as well. The brain is no different, but it has its own list of nutrients that help it thrive and some that should be avoided. Some foods are good for both the mind and body, while some are bad for both the mind and body. Here are some that should be avoided and some that should be consumed regularly.
Of course, cigarette smoking is really bad for the body and the mind. In the body, it causes cancer and emphysema of the lungs which will restrict oxygen flow to the rest of the body, especially the brain. The nicotine restricts blood vessels cutting oxygen again and causes cholesterol and plaque buildup which can lead to heart attacks and strokes. There is absolutely nothing good to say about smoking.
Alcohol, on the other hand, does have a few beneficial properties, but in small quantities. Large amounts of alcohol kill brain cells cause cancer of the liver and make one stupid enough to have fatal accidents. A large number of people die each year while intoxicated.
Fish is a very beneficial food for the brain, the fats that it contains help with memory and other functions. Look for fish like salmon, trout, and sardines that have very high omega 3 fatty acids, they are the best. Other great foods include broccoli, blueberries, and turmeric.
Turmeric is the yellow spice in many Asian dishes, it should be consumed as often as possible. Coffee is also on the list, the phytonutrients and caffeine that it contains are good for the brain’s alertness and concentration. Plus, those who consume coffee daily have a lower incidence of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
Rounding out the list of foods you should eat for better brain health are eggs, oranges, nuts, and seeds. These all contain valuable fats, vitamins, and other nutrients that are good for the brain.
Exercise Is Good For The Brain
The body has its favorite physical exercises and so does the brain. Some of them are the same, however, and should be done on a regular basis. The brain likes a good shot of oxygenated blood every single day for at least a half an hour. That can be anything like a good brisk walk, riding a bicycle, swimming, or basically anything aerobic. Other activities are also good like weight lifting and pushups, but just not as good as aerobic exercises.
The other exercise that’s also good for the brain is hard tasks that make you think. Things like writing, doing puzzles, doing the math, playing games like chess, or almost any kind of hard thinking work. Studies show over and over again that people that keep their brains active for several hours per day extend their brain health by years when they get to old age. When combined with physical exercise, there is no better way to keep your brain sharp than to give it a good workout.
There Are Also Probiotics To Consider
This is a new area of research that everyone wanting good brain health should consider taking a look at. There seems to be a connection between having good microbiome health in the gut and good brain health. New research is coming out daily as more scientists discover connections between bad gut bacteria and depression, mood, cognition, and the immune system. Anyone wanting to have top brain health would want to keep an eye on this research and possibly take some probiotic supplements in the meantime just to be sure.
If maintaining your healthy brain well into the future is your goal, many of the things that keep the body fit will also help your brain. By adjusting the diet, exercising the body and brain often, and avoiding the brain killers like cigarettes and alcohol you can extend your good brain health well into old age.