Taking care of brain health is about taking actions that will help the brain function well, reduce health risks such as stroke or dementia, and to help improve well-being and the brain’s ability to cope with changes as we get older.
Around the world, brain disease is the leading cause of death and disability. Many of us know someone whose life has been impacted by stroke, dementia, mental illness, or other brain conditions. By 2030, diseases of the brain are expected to outpace all others in terms of health-care costs and level of disability in society.
“The brain is influenced and affected by almost everything we do. Simple steps taken each day can help support brain health and general well-being,” adds Dr. Levitt.
Here are simple steps to boosting brain health to keep it working at its best.
Make sleep a priority
A good night’s rest has a positive impact on learning, thinking, memory, and mood. It can also help strengthen your immune system. Sleep helps to clear toxins from the brain, consolidate memories, and boost brain function.
For the times when it is difficult to fall asleep, you can try these tips to help improve your sleep.
Be physically active
Research has shown that exercise can help protect the brain from Alzheimer’s disease. It helps to increase blood flow to the brain. Being active can also help improve sleep.
Healthy eating is good for the brain. Nutritious foods including lean proteins, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can feed the brain in a positive way. Include foods that are low in fat and high in antioxidants.
Be socially active
Social interaction, and maintaining this as we age, has a positive impact on mental health. Connecting with family, friends, and building positive relationships can help with stress management. Engaging in conversation can stimulate the brain and strengthen problem-solving skills, all of which benefit brain health, overall.
Challenge your brain
Various activities that energize the brain intellectually can be done while engaging with others socially or own your own. Word games, puzzles, reading, listening to music, dancing, painting, or learning something new, and many other activities, can build new connections among nerve cells in the brain and help keep it in shape.