The ‘6 Pil­lars of Brain Health’

Health & Nutrition - - HEALTH FLASH -

Fol­low th­ese tips to boost your brain func­tion:

Chal­lenge your mind:

En­gage in men­tally stim­u­lat­ing ac­tiv­i­ties that you en­joy, es­pe­cially those that are new and chal­leng­ing. Ev­ery­thing from learn­ing a new lan­guage to gar­den­ing can ben­e­fit your brain.

Chal­lenge your body:

Stud­ies sug­gest that the risk of de­vel­op­ing Alzheimer’s dis­ease and other de­men­tias may be lower among phys­i­cally ac­tive peo­ple. Most ex­perts rec­om­mend aim­ing for 150 min­utes of brisk walk­ing or other mod­er­ate-in­ten­sity aer­o­bic ac­tiv­ity each week.

Stay so­cially en­gaged:

So­cial in­ter­ac­tion can im­prove your cog­ni­tion by chal­leng­ing your mem­ory, at­ten­tion, and abil­ity to think of con­ver­sa­tion top­ics and in­ter­pret vis­ual and ver­bal cues.

Get plenty of rest, and learn to re­lax:

Poor sleep and emo­tional stress may ad­versely af­fect your cog­ni­tion. Try to get at least seven hours of sleep each night, and work with your doc­tor on ways to cope with stress.

Feed your brain:

Fol­low­ing a heart-healthy diet – such as the Mediter­ranean diet, rich in fruits, veg­eta­bles, whole grains, olive oil and lean pro­tein sources – can pro­mote brain health.

Ad­dress risk fac­tors:

Work with your doc­tor to op­ti­mize your blood pres­sure, blood sugar, choles­terol and weight. If you smoke, dis­cuss ces­sa­tion strate­gies with your physi­cian. And, tell your doc­tor about any signs of de­pres­sion, such as feel­ings of help­less­ness or hope­less­ness. All of th­ese risk fac­tors may con­trib­ute to poor brain health and de­men­tia.

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