There’s been a lot in the news lately about keeping your brain fit as you age. First, it was crossword puzzles, then Sudoku. And now there are online brain games like Lumosity and BrainHQ. But diet and exercise also play a big part in keeping your brain fit as you age.
News Flash! The low-fat craze of the 1990s did a HUGE disservice to our brains. As it turns out, our brains are 60% fat and need healthy fats and omega-3 fatty acids to help them perform. Our brains also need a lot of water to keep them hydrated. One of the first symptoms of dehydration is clumsiness: a stumble, trip, or fall. So what can you do to keep your brain fit as you age?
Diet, Physical Activity, and Mental Exercise
Here are some tips for keeping your brain fit as you age.
- Drink more water, at least six to eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day (you pee will be very light yellow to clear if you are drinking enough water). Staying well-hydrated is one of the top fundamentals of wellness.
- Eat more Blueberries, a cup a day in any form. Or “Brainberries” as Dr. Steven Pratt, MD calls them. Blueberries help protect the brain from free radicles and can reduce the effects of Alzheimer’s and dementia. Studies have also shown that diets rich in blueberries can significantly improve both learning capacity and motor skills.
- Eat cold-water fish: salmon, sardines, and herring. Cold-water fish are rich in omega-3 essential fatty acids, which are essential for brain function. Strive to eat three 4oz servings per week.
- Eat more nuts and seeds. Nuts and seeds are good sources of vitamin E, which can help reduce cognitive decline, as you get older. Try eating an ounce a day of one of these: walnuts, hazelnuts, Brazil nuts, almonds, cashews, peanuts, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, flax seeds, or non-hydrogenated nut butter such as peanut butter, almond butter, and tahini.
- Eat more Avocados. Avocados are almost as good as blueberries in promoting brain health, according to Dr. Pratt. Avocados are monounsaturated fat, which contributes to healthy blood flow for a healthy brain. Avocados also help lower blood pressure, promoting brain health.
- Stay physically active. Being physically active has been shown to increase the length of telomeres, aiding in longevity. Telo-What?! They are an important part of your chromosome-replicating process. You can get more info about telomeres on the National Institute of Health website.
- Exercise your brain. Check out BrainHQ by PositScience.com for brain-teaser games that have been scientifically proven to help you think faster, focus better, and remember more.
Please post a comment if you have other tips to share on keeping your brain fit as you age.