04 Oct Six Brain Healthy Tips for Elders
March is Brain Awareness Month. It gives us all a reminder to nourish our neurons and soothe our synapses, and this is even more important for older adults. A person’s brain may have more years of use, but that does not mean there is not a lot within every person’s individual control that can help the brain function at its best at any age.
Here are six suggestions for helping your brain or that of an elder in your orbit to be as brain healthy at 80 as at eighteen:
1. What you eat: A lot of really medical solid research in recent years has shown that “we are what we eat” at every age. Older adults will benefit from a diet heavily populated with protein, antioxidants-folic acid is a concentrated source, omega-3 fatty acids-in fish, fruits and vegetables and vitamin B. It is important to stay light on the carbs and trans fats as well.
2. Active is more than sports: We all appreciate that a person who physically works out typically will have a healthier, robust physique. The same is true of the brain. If an older adult does not engage in stimulating games, conversation or other activities, the brain can get the neural equivalent of flabby. Give the brain a work out daily.
3. Be sociable: Pity the older adult who retires and just sits at home in front of a television all day. Socializing keeps the brain active along what the rest of the body. It also reduces the stress we all can accumulate, old and young alike. And one of the great benefits of sociability is the chance to share a good laugh… it is great medicine.
4. If you Snooze you win: It is ironic that one of the best things to do for an older brain also can be one of the hardest to find. Getting a good night’s sleep allows all the parts of the body to repair themselves. The opposite is true also… poor or less sleep negative impact the brain.
5. Don’t stress: Stress is not just hard on the cardiovascular system of an older adult. It also accumulates chemicals in the brain than may damage brain cells and interfere with an older person’s ability to think clearly and effectively. So don’t just get sleep, unload the stressors every day.
6. It is more than a brain: And wholistic medicine teaches us that everything affects everything. Cardiovascular health (through hypertension of other issues) will impact brain health as well as pancreatic health (ala diabetes) and even elevated cholesterol. An older adult will have a healthier mind if the body that it rides around in also is fit.