I was watching CNN and saw an interview with Sanjay Gupta, MD. Doctor Gupta was promoting his new book, Keep Sharp: Build a Better Brain at Any Age. (I have not read the book yet.) When watching the interview, I realized that I do not give brain health a lot of attention. I started researching to find out what role the brain plays in my body.
The functions of the brain are complex. It controls most of the activities of the body. I always thought the brain was responsible for how we think or process information. Now I realize it controls our movements, communication, emotions, and our organs. This means keeping our brain healthy goes beyond avoiding dementia or Alzheimer. Keeping the brain healthy is important for our overall wellbeing.
We can do things to keep our brain healthy. What we eat impacts our brain. Most of us have heard the term brain foods. Brain foods include nuts, fish, green vegetables, berries, and olive oil. Foods with Omega-3 fatty acids are good for the brain. We have heard that exercise is good for the heart. Exercise also benefits the brain. Cardio increases blood flow to the brain and strengthens blood vessels. This will help prevent illnesses that impair cognitive functions.
According to an article in Harvard Health there are additional things you should do to keep your brain healthy. They include getting mental stimulation, keeping your blood pressure normal, avoiding tobacco, not abusing alcohol, and taking care of your emotions. Other healthy habits including reducing stress and getting your rest helps your brain. Researchers believe that brain teasers help with cognitive abilities.
I have noticed that older people who are mentally sharp are passionate about something. They have hobbies and do things to stay active. You do not have to accept that your brain functions will deteriorate as you get older. You can do things to keep your brain operating at its optimal level.
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