As we age, we now know our cognitive health and brain health both start to decline over time. Studies continue to show there are many strategies to help prevent brain aging and stay sharp longer.
Here are 5 strategies proven to fight brain aging and jumpstart your cognitive health:
1. Maintain Stable Blood Pressure and Cholesterol Levels
Many seniors are often shocked to find out there's a correlation between heart disease and Alzheimer's disease. But consider how the vascular system supplies blood to the brain, and that may shed some light on how the impairment of blood flow could lead to brain tissue damage. High blood pressure is now associated with poor cognitive performance, as well as damage to the fragile tissue of the brain. In fact, a long-term study showed the risk of dementia doubled if the systolic blood pressure was in or above the range of 140-160 mmHg.
2. Maintain a Healthy Vitamin D Level
Several studies now show that low levels of vitamin D are linked to declining cognitive function and impairment, as vitamin D is directly involved in important memory formation. Get your vitamin D levels checked often, and follow your doctor's recommendation on taking supplements as needed.
3. Eat More Berries
Fruits and vegetables are known for phytochemicals, which are known to help alleviate inflammation both in the body and the brain. Berries, though, are known for their incredible effects on the brain. Several have been found to slow down or even reverse age-related issues in animals. Pomegranates and blueberries show incredibly promising results in various human studies, and both are shown to improve memory.
4. Limit Sugar
Excess sugar can contribute to high blood pressure, but it's also been linked to cognitive impairment and blood vessel damage due to elevation in blood glucose. Studies now show that even a single instance of hyperglycemia can be harmful, and there are links to deficits in memory and attention. If you have a sweet tooth, try switching to fresh fruit instead.
5. Stay Active
Engaging in regular exercise is necessary at every age and benefits the brain at every stage of life. There is increased blood flow to the brain during exercise, which helps keep blood vessels functioning in a healthy way. It also helps your brain produce additional mitochondria, which in turn aids in cellular energy production. After age 60, exercising for even just 30 minutes per day will result in better memory and reaction time, and is known to greatly reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease.
Although there are many factors that may cause brain aging and cognitive decline, we always have a choice and can choose to take proactive steps to becoming healthier and making better decisions about nutrition and health. As always, if we can be of service, please reach out. Our Kind Companions are available to help with in-home senior care and assistance, and we offer free consultations.