Which body part you consider most important?
I guess it’s no brainer.
It’s your brain.
The older we get, the better we have to take care of our body.
And yet, we don’t really think about taking care of our brain which is probably the most important part of our body.
Women have become more and more of ultimate multi-taskers, and it takes a toll on our brains.
Recent news reports also say that stress might cause women’s brains to age more rapidly. More reasons to hate stress, right?
Debbie Edmunds, the owner of H.O.P.E. Psychotherapy of Houston says,
“The brain is the only organ that to date cannot be grown in a lab or transplanted, yet it is often the most neglected. When it isn’t functioning in a healthy manner, our lives suffer. So having a healthy brain is paramount to mental, physical and spiritual health.”
Also, the president of Women’s brain Health Initiative, Lynn Posluns confirms,
“The latest research confirms dementia develops faster in women than in men, women are more vulnerable to Alzheimer’s, and not just because we live longer.”
Women’s brains are more vulnerable to other problems associated with cognitive function as well.
Not to mention, women are twice as likely as men to have Alzheimer’s and dementia. Yikes.
It’s obvious we have to take care of our brain now, pronto.
So here are tips we can use to keep our brain active, strong and healthy.
1. Eat right
Our brains consume a great deal of our bodies’ overall resources. The foods we eat directly impact the brain’s ability to function at the highest level.
Eat poorly, and your memory, attention and focus will suffer.
Nuts, greens, fish, whole grains, poultry, fruits and vegetables, and olive oil have been linked to better cognitive function and a lower risk of Alzheimer’s.
Also they deliver more omega-3 fatty acids, monounsaturated fatty acids, antioxidants and B vitamins to both the heart and brain.
Processed foods and sugars don’t provide a continual flow of nutrients, especially B vitamins, so let’s stay away from them as much as we can.
Twenty(20) percent – that’s the proportion of blood flowing from the heart that goes to our brains.
Exercise increases heart health, which in turn ensures your brain gets the oxygen and nutrients it needs. Perform exercises that increase cardiovascular health, such as aerobics, yoga, or fast walking.
Dr. Ron Petersen, director of the Mayo Alzheimer’s Research Center, also cites exercises such as “150 minutes a week of brisk walking” and staying intellectually and socially active.
In addition, the National Stroke Association estimates that up to 80 percent of all cases can be prevented by exercising and not smoking, as well as by maintaining healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
3. Challenge Your Brain
Like any other part of our body, the brain needs exercise. Though it benefits from physical exercise, the brain also needs mental challenges to keep it engaged, challenged, and sharp.
Any activity that requires deeper thought or increased focus/attention is ideal.
Play cards. Do a crossword or sudoku puzzle. Play memory games that are easily downloaded as mobile applications or go the old-fashioned route and buy a memory board game. There are myriad ways to stimulate the 100 billion neurons in your brain.
Challenge yourself mentally on a regular basis.
And, thinking on the bright side matters too: Negative thoughts can hinder your brain’s ability to think straight and form memories, according to research from King’s College in London.
Meditation reduces anxiety, helps with addictions, and improves concentration and attention.
If you have a few minutes in the morning or evening (or both), rather than turning on your phone or going online, see what happens if you try quieting down your mind, or at least paying attention to your thoughts and letting them go without reacting to them.
If the research is right, just a few minutes of meditation may make a big difference.
“You’re never too young to start looking after your brain health,” experts say. So, let’s take care of our brain and have a brain-healthy day everyday!
***all images are from pinterest.com.
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