Keep Your Brain Healthy
By Paul Rothbart
Good health is important to a happy, productive, and hopefully long life. Caring for the body is vital. It interacts with the world and moves you from place to place. It contains all the systems that keep you alive. But there is also the control center. The brain is every bit as important as the body and must be cared for as well. Caring for the brain is not as intuitive as caring for the body, but not that much different. Here are some ways to take good care of the grey matter.
Science has discovered that anxiety is harmful to the brain. There is research that shows people who are continually anxious are 48 percent more likely to develop dementia. There will always be some stress and anxiety in your life. That is unavoidable. However, it can be managed. Taking time away from work or whatever causes you to be anxious can be very helpful. Engaging in fun hobbies is relaxing and stimulating to the brain. It can release stress levels. Practicing gratitude is another good way to manage anxiety. Try making a list of 10 things for which you are grateful.
The brain responds well to exercise, both physical and mental. Exercising the body helps the respiratory system function more efficiently which gets more oxygen to the brain. Exercise is also a very good way to lower stress levels, which is helpful to the brain. Mental exercise stimulates the brain and helps prevent cognitive decline, memory loss, and dementia. There are many ways to exercise your brain and they can be a lot of fun. Doing puzzles of any kind, crossword, jigsaw, logic problems, learning a language, and learning to play a musical instrument are all excellent at stimulating the brain. Learning any kind of new skill or taking classes on any topic will also help brain health while enriching your life.
What you eat can have a very positive impact on brain health. At the top of the list is fatty fish such as salmon and sardines. These fish contain omega-3 fatty acids which are among the best nutrients for a healthy brain. Nuts, poultry, leafy green vegetables, and whole grains are also part of a good mental health diet. Along with these foods, a balanced diet that is good for the body will also help the brain. Part of eating well is limiting excess sugar, fat, and keeping your sodium levels in check.
Caring for your health is essential to living well. The body needs good food and exercise, but so does the brain. Taking good care of it will help you stay sharp, maintain your memory, and reduce the risk of dementia and Alzheimer's.
To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Walnut Creek, Calif.