A long and healthy life can stem from incorporating some of these habits into your routine
According to the Alzheimer's Association, more than 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer's disease and other dementias and by 2050 that number could rise to as high as 16 million people. Although there is no definitive way to prevent dementia, living a long, vibrant life can be possible by encouraging some healthy habits for the brain.
1. Social interaction: staying connected with family and friends is important for brain health. According to “Netdoctor”, interacting with other people and having a supportive social network boosts feelings of wellbeing and may act as a buffer against isolation and depression.
2. Exercise: regular exercise is one of the most important ways to keep your body healthy and it also offers a wealth of benefits for the brain and mind as well. According to the Harvard Medical School, aerobic exercise can help improve brain tissue by improving blood flow and reducing the chances of injury to the brain from cholesterol buildup in blood vessels. Also, becoming more active can improve brain volume, reduce risk for dementia and improve thinking and memory skills.
3. Consume caffeine: a review published in the Gerontology & Geriatric Research journal showed that people who drink at least three cups of coffee per day are 30 percent less likely to suffer from memory problems at age 65. Also, caffeine may lower stress, diminish depression risk, and soak up damaging free radicals.
4. Eat healthy foods: foods that are good for the heart and blood vessels also are good for the brain. These include fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, fish-based proteins, unsaturated fats, and foods containing omega-3 fatty acids.
5. Sleep and mindfulness: sleep energizes you, improves your mood and immune system, and even reduces buildup of amyloid plaque, which is associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Also, for a few minutes each day try to unplug from your devices, sit quietly and simply turn your attention to your own breath.
6. Speak out: speak to a loved one or a healthcare professional if you find yourself experiencing periods of low mood, fatigue, a lack of energy, anxiety or feelings of worthlessness.
7. Quit smoking and drinking: according to “Age UK”, smokers have 70% higher risk of developing all forms of dementia when compared to non-smokers. Drinking is also known to exacerbate feelings of depression and anxiety, so it is best to keep these to a minimum.
8. Involve your pet: according to “Healthy Brains”, controlling high blood pressure and diabetes, managing weight and curbing depression are essential to good brain health; which is why pets can positively affect our lives since they help relieve anxiety, boost immunity, improve heart health, make us move and enhance our social life.
Latin American Post | Luisa Fernanda Báez
Copy edited by Laura Rocha Rueda