More than ever, it is crucial to maintain your brain. We are living longer than ever before and the biggest risk factor for dementia is age. The better you have treated your brain, the better it will perform. What is good for the heart is also good for the brain. Here are 10 Tips for Encouraging Brain Health:
- Eat the Mediterranean diet. The people around the Mediterranean are simple, working people. They eat simply with what is available and they are some of the longest living people in the world. Here are some of the foods in their diet:
- Fish & chicken each week. Meat once or twice a month
- Fruits & vegetables in abundance – locally grown.
- They eat whole grain foods
- They use olive oil in their cooking
- They drink wine in moderation…that is 2 glasses for a man and one glass for a woman.
- They use herbs and spices to flavor, minimizing the amount of salt they need.
- No trans fats…minimize cookies, cakes and other processed foods. Use olive oil, coconut oil and canola oil when cooking.
- Engage in mentally stimulating activities such as scrabble, crossword puzzles, soduku and learn new skills.
- Take a vitamin B complex supplement
- Include an Omega-3 fatty acid supplement
- Eat foods high in antioxidants such as blueberries, cherries and fruits high in Vitamin C & E.
- Include low impact physical exercise in your daily routine…swimming, walking, yoga, stretching, tai chi, bicycling, etc.
- Eat whole foods, not processed foods.
- Reduce sugar intake to once per week; substitute with fruits and honey.
- Keep weight to within normal limits but do not get too thin. When there is a health event, it is important to have a little reserve when you are older.
Make eating fun. Get involved in selecting your foods. Use locally grown foods as much as possible. Steam, bake, braise, and crockpot your food. Stay away from deep fat fried foods. Eat raw foods daily. Utilize foods with different colors.
Take your time while eating and really be present to what you are eating. You will be much more likely to enjoy it and eat the amount your body really needs.