HOW TO BOOST BRAIN HEALTH

Homes+ (Australia) - - HEALTH -

So what do we all need to do in our daily lives to give our brain the best chance of help­ing us live a long and healthy cog­ni­tive life? In her book, Dr Gates lists four key steps.

1

Boost brain health by fol­low­ing a Mediter­ranean-style diet high in sea­sonal fruit and veg­eta­bles, grains and pulses. Limit pro­cessed meats and high-choles­terol foods such as take­away, fried foods and cakes, bis­cuits and pas­tries. Keep a check on your glu­cose lev­els by eat­ing low-gly­caemic-in­dex foods reg­u­larly.

2

Build brain re­serve (also known as neu­ro­plas­tic­ity) via reg­u­lar ex­er­cise, men­tal ac­tiv­ity and so­cial con­nec­tiv­ity. Car­dio­vas­cu­lar fit­ness like brisk walk­ing, cycling, run­ning or pad­dling is worth­while. If you aren’t es­pe­cially fit, start slowly and build up fit­ness (talk to your GP be­fore start­ing any new ex­er­cise or eat­ing plan). Aim for a to­tal of 150 min­utes a week, which can be bro­ken up into short bursts such as climb­ing the stairs at work rather than tak­ing the lift or walk­ing to work.

3

Lower the bur­den on your brain by re­duc­ing your lev­els of stress and risk of depression.

4

De­velop and nur­ture a wise mind by striv­ing for a sat­is­fy­ing life and a pos­i­tive “mind­set”.

In ad­di­tion, try to em­brace good habits like main­tain­ing reg­u­lar sleep pat­terns (adults from 26 to 64 years need be­tween seven and nine hours of sleep a night). Fa­tigue can re­sult in loss of en­ergy, poor con­cen­tra­tion, lack of fo­cus and mood­i­ness.

Well-rested Your mind needs suf­fi­cient sleep.

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