Brain Healthy Living

Minimizing Cognitive Decline

There are many ways to help keep your brain healthy and I will explore a few of these in this class.

Exercise Your Mind

You have to use your mind or you will loose it. Keep your mind active with different kinds of exercises. Working crossword puzzles is a great brain exercise, however, it should not be the only brain exercise you do. Sudoku puzzles, solitaire or other card games, and word games such as word searches, or scrabble are games you can play that keep your brain engaged. Working jigsaw puzzles is another great brain exercise

Exercise Your Body

Getting regular physical exercise helps stimulate the blood flow to all of your organs including your brain. Moving your body stimulates the release of endorphins which help elevate your mood and cause chemical reactions that increase learning ability. Physical exercise also helps lower stress which can help keep your brain healthy by lowering cortisol levels.

Get Enough Sleep

To keep your brain healthy, you need time to relax and let it rest and rejuvenate. As with every other organ in your body, sleep helps keep the brain healthy by cleaning out the toxins that are produced by normal daily activity. When toxins build up in the brain it can cause inflammation and have a degenerative effect on brain tissue.

Be Active

Having an active social life is very good for your brain health. Studies show that people with more social interaction have the slowest rate of memory decline. Getting out of the house, taking a class, joining a book club, or being active in a church or spiritual community, are all ways to get yourself out and spending time with others.

Reduce your stress level

When you stay in a state of constant stress, it triggers the fight or flight response which causes high amounts of cortisol to be secreted. The increased cortisol levels build up in the brain and forms the plaque on the neurons that is associated with dementia.

Eat Brain Healthy Food

Eating a brain-healthy diet supports brain function. The foods we eat have a huge impact on the health of our brains. In order to maintain optimal brain function, we must feed it a diet high in the nutrients it needs. Omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, flavonoids, and healthy fats are some of the things our brains need.

I recommend reading the book “The End of Alzheimer’s” by Dale E. Bredesen, MD. This book is a great source of helpful information.

Another great book about what we eat is “The Plant Paradox” by Steven R. Gundry, MD. Dr. Gundry explains what foods do in our bodies and gives great directions on how to make the lifestyle changes necessary for healthy living.