The Four Key Factors to a Healthy Brain
The four key factors to a healthy brain:
1. Nutrition: What’s good for the heart is good for the brain. Eat a variety of vitamin-rich foods high in B vitamins, folate, antioxidants, and low in fat and cholesterol.
- Antioxidant rich foods include fish such as salmon or mackerel and dark-skinned fruits and vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, beets, prunes, raisins and berries.
- HDL (or “good”) cholesterol may help protect brain cells. Try to stick to mono- and polyunsaturated fats, such as olive or vegetable oils, avocado, or nuts. Avoid trans-fats (sometimes called partially hydrogenated oils) which can be damaging to healthy heart and brain function.
2. Physical Exercise: Physical exercise helps to maintain good blood flow to the brain and can reduce certain risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease.
- Exercise should be done regularly for around 30 minutes per day, 5 days per week.
- Forms of exercise may include walking, bicycling, gardening, swimming, yoga, seated exercise, aerobic and strength training.
- Exercise does not have to be a big deal or done all at one time. Think of small ways you can incorporate exercise into your normal daily routine.
Talk with your doctor or ourselves about how to start an appropriate nutrition or exercise program as well as our intellectual fitness programs.
3. Social Activity: People who engage in regular social activities may maintain better brain health. Social activities come in all forms. Get involved in local library programs, faith community groups or activities at your local leisure centre. The Alzheimer’s Association offers classes for people with mild memory loss that can provide social activity along with mental stimulation.
4. Cognitive (Mental) Activity: Keeping the brain active may help to build new connections and cells in your brain, protecting you from mental decline.