The Best Supplements and Exercises For A Healthy Brain

There has been a rise in the rates of Alzheimer's and dementia. According to the Alzheimer's Association, as of last year, around 5.4 Americans have been living with this condition — this indicates that one out of every eight seniors has it — it is in fact in sixth place as one of the leading causes of death in the United States. As the rates continue to rise, so does the concern as to how capable we are of caring for these growing numbers is individuals struggling with dementia and Alzheimer's. And when the reality of life caring for a person with an Alzheimer’s or dementia sets in, many people begin to look for ways to prevent the onset of such a terrible disease.

Until there is an actual cure for Alzheimer's, there are precautions that researchers emphasize younger people should be taking to avoid or delay their chances of developing this condition. From maintaining a healthy diet to staying active to just being social, there are quite a few things that can be done to minimize your risk of dementia or Alzheimer's. Here are five easy to follow tips and pointers on the subject:

1. A Healthy Mind Can Be Achieved Through Exercise

Published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, a study conducted in Dallas at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, found that higher levels of cardiovascular fitness in those of middle ages could decrease the risk of dementia later on in life. Treadmill routines of 19,000 middle aged and healthy individuals were tracked by scientists from 1970 to 2009, the conclusion they arrived at was that the ones with more optimal levels of performance were the least likely to develop this condition.

Previous research which shows that fitness could in fact be a modifiable risk factor associated with Alzheimer's was confirmed by this discovery. Therefore the key to maintaining not only a body that is healthy, but also a healthy mind, could possibly be exercise.

Smoking, weight gain and depression have also been linked to those who developed dementia.  Therefore it is highly recommended to hit the gym to stay in shape and to avoid unnecessary weight gain and, if you smoke, it’s time to quit.

2. Literally, Food For Thought

What you eat, directly affects your brain. Research has shown that a diet rich in lean protein, healthy fats, vegetables, and fruits can provide the brain with the nutrients it needs to decrease inflammation, as well as provide a dependable power source for the mind. According to the National Institutes of Health, studies have also shown the the brain's glial cells are associated with the removal of toxins which may play a role in the development of Alzheimer's. Foods such as fatty fish, soy, ginger, blueberries, as well as other dark berries, and green tea are believed to protect the glial cells from being damaged. When eating your way to health is not always feasible, take supplements, like NuTru's O-Mega-Zen3®, to enhance your nutritional intake. For more information on vegan supplements, check out NuTru's Facebook page.

Here are some other dietary choices which have proven to aid in the health of the brain:

  • Colorful vegetables and fruits which are high in antioxidants
  • Grazing as opposed to eating large meals throughout the day helps to control the sugar levels in the blood impacting the health of the brain
  • Incorporate spices such as turmeric, sage, and cinnamon into your diet to improve brain function
  • Mediterranean style diet with nuts, fish, olive oil, whole grains and fresh produce that is rich in omega-3
  • Beverages like coffee and green tea improve alertness and memory
  • Avoiding saturated and trans fats that can commonly be found in foods which are processed, packaged and fried as well as in full fat dairy and red meats.

3. Learn Something New Every Day

By challenging yourself to learn something new on a daily basis, you can keep your mind stimulated. Research has shown that those who maintain an active brain — whether through organizing, multi tasking, communicating, or interacting — have a lower risk of developing Alzheimer's later on in their lives.

Here are a few tips to help you remain sharp:
  • Learn to play a musical instrument
  • Use memorization games to challenge yourself
  • Study a new language
  • Read more
  • Play computer games or take on crossword puzzles

4. Nap While In The Sun

I am sure you realize how great it feels after a good night's sleep. Sleep directly impacts your mood, your thinking, and your memory — all of these things are crucial to proper brain health as well as preventing brain impairments.

Researches have linked vitamin D, also known as the sunshine vitamin, to minimizing the risks of Alzheimer's. In Los Angeles, at the University of Southern California, scientists found that vitamin D may be directly responsible for the activation of cellular signaling which clears the brain of any unhealthy plaque build up, therefore keeping Alzheimer's at bay. So get yourself outside and soak up some sun.

5. Be Stress Free and Take Time To Socialize

Stress should be cut from your life or at least it should be controlled. Being stressed out never brings about anything good. Many health conditions have been known to be sparked or worsened by stress. Stress is also responsible for feeling overwhelmed and being forgetful.

Make sure that you surround yourself with those who you not only love, but also enjoy. When it comes to Alzheimer's, isolation and subsequent depression can be a silent killer. Your mind remains active and stimulated by being social.

Here are a few tips that can help you lower your stress levels and maximize your social interactions:
  • Volunteer or join a club
  • Connect with friends on a weekly basis
  • Relax, meditate or take a yoga class
  • Take a class where you are able to connect with people who share the same interests as you
  • Meet your neighbors and explore your neighborhood
While we cannot alter our genetic code for hereditary conditions, we can be proactive in our own preventative measures. Following these five simple steps will set you on the right path toward a healthier brain. 

~ by Guest  writer Lauren Saleh

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