Want to help keep your brain healthy and young? You can start with a healthy eating style.
- Eat mostly unprocessed foods. Eating back to basics foods and cooking from scratch are your best choices as far as long term health including brain health is concerned.
- Reduce the amounts of added sugars in your day to day diet. You know the kind I’m talking about; in cookies, cakes, doughnuts, pop, sweetened beverages, junk food, and the list goes on and on.
- Avoid deep fried foods
Here’s my list of the foods to include in your eating style to eat on a regular basis:
- Fruits and vegetables – aim for 3 servings of fruit and 7 servings of vegetables a day. Make sure to include both orange and green coloured vegetables. Here’s what a serving looks like.
- Berries – especially blueberries
- Whole grains
- Pulses: beans, chickpeas, split peas and lentils
- Nuts- especially walnuts
- Omega-3 rich foods: Salmon – canned or fresh, anchovies – canned or fresh, mackerel – canned or fresh, walnuts, ground flaxseed and omega-3 eggs
- Healthy fats like: extra virgin olive oil, canola oil, avocados and nut butters
- Keep hydrated, mostly with water
Being active helps more than we thought.
- Regular exercise is not just good for your body, its really good for our brains. Exercise can protect your memory and your thinking skill.
- If the thought of getting off your couch for your brain health isn’t motivating enough, how’s this – exercise can slow aging in your brain by 10 years.
- Adults need between 7-8 hours a night to let your brain reboot. There seems to be a link between bad sleeps and the chances of developing Alzheimer’s.
- Learn to relax. Meditation, deep breathing, Qui Chong and yoga are all beneficial. Meditation in fact may improve your brain function.
- Try new experiences – doing the same old same old doesn’t challenge your brain, this one of the main reasons I did the Edge Walk on the CN Tower – terrifying, but so mind expanding! Thank the heavens for Jennifer Valentyne. I was holding her hand in a death grip.
- Learning a new language or a musical instrument has been shown over and over again to help with brain plasticity.
- Stay socially active and keep wide circles of friendships
- Maintaining a healthy weight not affects your joints it affects your brain. Older adults with higher BMI tend to have more inflammation in their bodies which has shown an impact on brain cognition.
- Controlling blood pressure is good for your heart, but recent studies indicate its important for the health of your brain as well.
I highly recommend The Healthy Brain by Aileen Buford-Mason PHD for an in depth look at brain health at any age.
The picture at the top of the page is me with my dad when he was 92. He was active and followed a healthy lifestyle most of his life. He died at 94. He was an inspiration and my hero.