Five Ways To Improve Brain Health
May 21st, 2012
The brain has the highest concentration of blood vessels among all the organs. So it’s not surprising that all the good things you do to protect and improve your cardiovascular health will also benefit your brain. The following are just some things you can do to protect and improve brain health:
Increase good cholesterol levels. Researchers from Columbia University found that a person with a high level of “good” cholesterol (HDL-C) has a lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease later in life. Some of the things you can do to raise HDL levels are: cutting down on trans fatty acids, losing weight, having one or two drinks per day, and adding soluble fiber to your diet.
Get moving. Benefits of regular exercise go beyond healthy heart and body weight. Separate studies from the University of Washington and University of Chicago suggest that older adults who exercised regularly are less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease compared to those who lead a sedentary life. Individuals who combine physical activities with a heart-friendly diet got even better results, cutting down risks by as much as 60 percent.
Stay connected with loved-ones. Keeping in touch with family, friends, and neighbors can benefit brain health, according to Harvard researchers. Adults 50 and older who stayed socially connected the most have half the memory loss rate of those who were socially isolated, the study found. Talking with friends encourage people to improve their health, which helps keep the brain stimulated. You can stay socially active by joining volunteer groups, participating in community activities, traveling, and many more.
Challenge your brain. The mind needs to be stimulated in order to stay healthy. Having a higher education level lowers the risk for Alzheimer’s disease. Furthermore, memory loss has a lesser impact on highly educated people. Seek activities that increase brain activity such as learning a new skill, solving crossword puzzles, playing cards, and reading interesting literature.
Protect your head. Staying active can unfortunately increase your risk for traumatic brain injuries. Head injuries may cause memory loss depending on severity. You should take necessary precautions to protect your head against such injuries. Be aware of the symptoms of concussion such as amnesia, confusion, dizziness, headache, ringing in the ears, slurred speech, and loss of consciousness. Seek immediate medical attention if you suffer from any of these after a head injury.
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