How You Can Keep Your Brain Healthy All Your Life
We know that some people are able to live into their eighth and ninth decades still mentally sharp and physically spry. What are our chances of staying mentally alert and physically active in old age? Is it all a matter of random luck? Is losing our mental powers as we age inevitable?
The good news is that statistically the odds are on your side. Most people are able to keep their cognitive faculties as they age unless they develop Alzheimer?s disease, heart disease, or diabetes.
As long as the brain itself remains healthy, older people can maintain their ability to think and remember, although processing may take longer than it used to. Seniors are actually able to outperform much younger people in certain kinds of mental skills.
Many subtle, but cumulative physical changes occur in our brains as we live and grow older. Some of these changes start before we are born, and some become most noticeable as we enter the fifth or sixth decade of life.
If you?ve ever heard that the brain shrinks as we grow older, it?s not just a myth. It?s literally true. Brain cells die steadily throughout life without being replaced, and the brain loses mass as we age. Men?s brains seem to shrink somewhat faster than the brains of women.
The good news for all of us is that although we may lose millions of neurons and synapses each year, this does not necessarily lead to diminishment of our overall thinking capacity unless the loss is concentrated in certain key areas of the brain.
Scientists have discovered that our ability to think and remember is preserved in spite of brain cell death, as long as the brain cells are able to create new connections to each other.
One way to keep producing new connections is to keep using your brain--keep on learning new skills and develop new interests throughout your life. If you treasure your brain, do yourself a favor and keep using it!
Researchers who study the aging population have discovered that maintaining an active mind in old age is not entirely a matter of luck. Because your brain is flesh and blood, the strategies that help keep your body healthy will also benefit your brain.
Make it a priority to eat well, exercise regularly, and get sufficient sleep. Your brain, as well as the rest of your body will benefit. In addition, this strategy will improve your mood and outlook.
Learn more about which fats are good and which fats are bad, and then increase your intake of good fats, and decrease your intake of bad fats.
Most North Americans eat far too much of the bad fats--those that are saturated or hydrogenated, and they do not eat enough of the good fats their body needs, particularly the Omega-3?s found in foods such as salmon and flax seed.
Include lots of fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet, especially those that are brightly colored such as tomatoes, spinach, and berries. These foods are high in antioxidants, which help protect your brain cells from free radical damage.
Take a good quality vitamin and mineral supplement daily. Be sure to include at least 500 mg of Vitamin C, 400 IU of Vitamin E, 400 mcg. of Folic acid, and a well balanced Vitamin B complex.
About the Author: This article is taken from the new book by Royane Real titled "How You Can Be Smarter - Use Your Brain to Learn Faster, Remember Better and Be More Creative" If you want to learn how you can use your brain better, download it today or get the paperback version at www.lulu.com/real