If you’ve known anyone with Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s or dementia, you’d know first hand how terrible it is. It’s a fate I’d never wish on anyone.
Even if you have a predisposition for these diseases, there are things you can do prevent or at least delay their onset. While you cannot be sure what’s ahead, there are things you can do to age-proof your brain.
So what are the 8 ways you can age-proof your brain?
1. Be active, move around
As you age, your brain networks become less well connected. But the good thing is exercising increases your brain’s connectivity!
What happens when you exercise? Besides improving vascular function throughout your body (including of course your brain), exercising also increases the size of your hippocampus.
This part of your brain is the key to memory formation. As you age, it naturally shrinks, but by exercising and remaining physically active, you can reverse this process.
Did you know: Higher exercise levels can reduce dementia risk by 30 to 40 percent compared with low activity levels, and physically active people tend to maintain better cognition and memory than inactive people.
So how much should you be exercising? Most experts recommend 150 minutes of moderate activity per week. But if you can’t spare that much time, even as little as 15 minutes of exercise 3 times a week helps.
2. Learn a new skill or language
What exercise does for muscle formation, is what learning does for your brain. When you learn something new and challenge your brain, you are actually increasing the number of your brain cells and number of connections between your cells.
Be it sudoku, learning a new language or even just brushing your teeth using your non-dominant hand, go and engage your brain!
3. Manage your stress levels
Stress is an unavoidable fact of living. However when you have chronic stress, this constantly floods your brain with cortisol which leads to impaired memory.
So what you do about it? Well one of the things you could do is to take up mindfulness meditation. Meditation has been shown to reduce harmful stress hormones.
Research has shown that in just 2 months, people who practise meditation showed a significant increase in the density of grey matter in their hippocampus.
4. Get social
Studies have shown that having multiple social networks lowers dementia risk. How does this work exactly? A rich social life may protect you against dementia by providing you with mental and emotional stimulation.
5. Spice it up
In addition to adding more flavour to your food, herbs and spices also help boost your brain power and health. These include black pepper, cinnamon, turmeric, ginger, parsley, coriander, etc. By eating these herbs and spices which are high in antioxidants, you help your brain cells overcome free radicals and inflammation.
6. Check for any nutrient deficiencies
As you age, your digestive system might not be as efficient in absorbing nutrients from your food. As a result it’s easier for you to get deficient in certain vitamins or minerals. So you might have to take some supplements to get adequate amount of nutrients.
In particular, Vitamin B12 is key for your brain health. Researchers found that older adults with vitamin B12 deficiencies had smaller brains and even scored lowest on tests measuring thinking, reasoning and memory.
7. Fish for omega-3
Did you know: Omega-3 fatty acids are found to be most concentrated in your brain.
They appear to be vital for your cognitive (brain memory and performance) and behavioural function.
If you’re deficient in omega-3 fatty acids, you might experience these symptoms: fatigue, poor memory, dry skin, heart problems, mood swings or depression, poor circulation, etc.
8. Boost your Glutathione levels
Did you know: Your brain makes up only 2 percent of your body’s weight but eats up roughly 20 percent of your oxygen.
So what’s the implication for this? Free radicals are a by product when your cells use oxygen. This means that your brain is awash with free radicals!
Glutathione helps protect your brain against their ravaging effects. As the master-antioxidant of your body, glutathione not only neutralises free radicals, but it also recycles other antioxidants!
Uncontrolled free radical damage is tied to many diseases, the ones that target the brain particularly are Alzheimer’s, schizophrenia, Parkinson’s, etc. Shortage of glutathione is a major factor for these diseases.
“Immunocal is the future of the wellness movement – nothing else I know can impact the ability of every cell in the human body to defend itself from the common pathological mechanisms. To raise glutathione levels is to reduce premature oxidation, to quench destructive free radicals and help detoxify the poisons inside each cell when it needs to. Only Immunocal is clinically proven to do that in a safe, effective and convenient way.”
Dr Allan Somersall