An article recently reported that despite efforts and millions of dollars in investments, there has been very little advancement in coming up with a cure for Alzheimer’s Disease (AD), and there is litle mention of ways to improve your brain health. Several drugs that have been researched by large pharmaceutical companies have done poorly in clinical trials. And so, at least for right now, the outlook on a cure for AD is bleak.
So what can you do to keep Alzheimer’s at bay for as long as possible? While genetics plays an important role in AD, scientists have also shown that diet and lifestyle are also important factors that lead up to AD. For a long time, people thought there was nothing you could do to improve your brain health.
We now know that there are simple lifestyle changes you can make to improve it. In this post, we will go over simple things you can do to improve your memory and possibly reduce the risk for developing AD. Let’s get right into it.
Drink more water
Your brain is mostly made up of water. In fact your brain is 73% water. Thus, drinking water nourishes your brain as much as it does other parts of your body. The cells in your body, including those in the brain are able to function properly when you have enough water in your system. This is why dehydration regularly causes headaches. Drink more water so your brain can function at its’ peak.
Your diet matters
Your brain health depends on your diet. The following changes in your diet have been shown via research to have a strong impact on brain health.
- Fish oil. Fish oil contains Omega-3 Fatty acids which have been shown in multiple studies to benefit the brain. In one such study, researchers showed that elderly subjects who were given fish oil over a 12-month period had better memory and recall abilities compared to the group that did that take fish oil in all that time.
- Vegetables. Broccoli, cauliflower, celery and other vegetables contain antioxidants that protect your brain from damage. This in turn keeps your brain cells intact and healthy.
- Avoiding sugars and carbohydrates. Researchers from Boston University School of Medicine showed that a high sugar intake was related to lower brain volume and poorer memory. This is especially alarming considering how much sugar we consume in a regular American diet per day. Thus the key here is to read your food labels and be certain of how much sugar you are consuming.
- Eat berries for long-term memory. Berries like blueberries, strawberries and grapes contain a chemical called anthocyanins. Anthocyanins from acai berries for instance, have been shown to decrease inflammation in mouse brain cells. The anthocyanins also protected the brain cells from damage. These results have strong implications for brain health in humans as well.
Regular exercise improves cognitive function and protect the brain from damage by chemicals known as oxygen radicals. Even if it is just for 30 minutes a day everyday, you can improve the health of your brain because you exercise consistently.
Stress has long been known to have a negative impact on your brain health. Increased stress levels are associated with:
None of these is helpful if you are someone who wants to improve their brain health. While a fair amount of stress is to be expected with everyday life, situations that constantly stress you out are a matter of concern and should be addressed.
Get enough sleep
The lack of proper sleep is associated with poor memory and brain health. One study for instance, found that night shift nurses made more mathematical errors than their counterparts who work during the day. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends that an adults gets at least 8 hours of sleep per night.
Play brain games
Playing brain games helps with neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity refers to the ability of your brain cells to form new connections in response to injury and changing life situations. The reason you can drive from your office to your house without having to think about it actively, is because your brain is used to the route. If there is ever a road closure and you have to make a diversion, do you realize that you then suddenly have to think about directions home? Knowing how to do things automatically doesn’t challenge your brain so that fresh new connections are formed.
Playing games therefore helps to move this process of neuroplasticity along and thereby improves your brain health. There is a link between how well you treat your brain and Alzheimer’s Disease.
Ways To Improve Your Brain Health
These tips will help immensely if you incorporate them into your daily routine.