We've all misplaced keys, blanked on trying to remember a name or word. Or said, "it's on the tip of my tongue." When you're young, you do not give it a second thought if you experience a slight memory lapse, but as you age, you notice. Most people have experienced the occasional short-term moment, and know that it's part of the aging process. As people age, we notice changes in our body and bodily functions, a gradual decline including cognitive and behavioral changes.
Brain aging is unfortunately inevitable; our cognitive function declines, our memory fades, and it affects everyone differently. Among the factors that may speed up the decline in our cognitive behavior is our eating habits, especially sugar and alcohol, sedentary lifestyles, lack of sleep, stress, depression, emotional turmoil, and a lack of balance in the microbiome.
It's our job to preserve and improve our brain as we age. Protecting the brain's health and nerve cells (called neurons) is a key factor in the fight against cognitive decline. Neurons need to be nurtured with abundant fuel and nutrients to function correctly.
Age-related memory changes are inevitable, but growing old does not necessarily have to mean being unhealthy. There are many ways you can improve your cognitive skills. Remember, you have to use it or lose it!
A balanced life helps improve overall well-being. A good starting point is eating more whole plant foods, meaning vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, and seeds. Research shows that omega-3 fatty acids (FAs) may help fight inflammation, heart disease and maintain cognitive function in aging individuals.
Foods rich in omega-3 fats (such as salmon, mackerel, tuna, trout, algae, walnuts, berries, and flaxseed) are good for the brain. Also, it's relatively easy to eat plenty of omega-3s from whole foods.
Regular exercise has favorable effects on the brain at all stages of life; it improves mood and sleep and reduces stress and anxiety. Exercise such as cardio and strength training increases blood flow and oxygen to the brain, which increases nutrients available to brain cells.
One of the most popular yet underrated exercises is walking. The benefits of walking can have a significant improvement on various health conditions than just about any other remedy that's readily available to you. According to the American Academy of Neurology, the effect of exercise was equal to four fewer years of brain aging.
Learn to appreciate the restorative power of a good night's sleep. Sleep is important to several brain functions and serves to reenergize the body's cells. Multiple studies have linked a lack of sleep with a decline in cognitive functions such as memory, concentration, and decision-making problems. We know that a good night's sleep is good for our brain, so consider going to bed and getting up around the same time each day. Keeping a consistent sleep schedule is one way of establishing a relaxing bedtime routine.
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The statements made regarding these products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not meant to diagnose, treat or cure any disease or medical condition. Please consult your health care professional before using any product.