Have you ever had this feeling, when you enter the room and can’t remember why you came here? Or sometimes you forget the name of some people, or start a conversation and forget what you wanted to say? Those “senior moments” can definitely happen to anybody, but when you are getting older, these memory slips may cause some extra stress. But don’t worry, it doesn’t always mean that you are getting dementia, or something even more serious.
With time, our brain changes in size and structure, and, normally, your brain will start working differently over time. There are some ways how to preserve brain functions, such as memory most importantly, its nerve cells.
How to maintain a healthy brain?
Studies have shown that you can help prevent cognitive decline and reduce the risk of dementia with some basic good health habits:
- Try to be more active. Daily exercises can prevent or postpone the risk of some brain diseases like dementia or Alzheimer’s. At least 15 minutes a day can help a lot.
- Get rid of bad habits. If you smoke it is better to quit, since tobacco can harm all your organs, the brain is not an exception. Same story with alcohol. Experts recommend limiting your alcohol to one drink per day for women, and two – for men. However, the less, the better.
- Keep learning and stimulate your brain. Try to challenge your brain with some mental exercise, pursue a new hobby, or learn a new skill, your brain will be grateful. Some specialists advise volunteering and social activities to stay engaged with friends and family.
- Avoid stress or try to minimize it. When we have stressed, our body releases a hormone that has a strong effect on the brain and is even stronger on older brains. It may be harder to recover from emotional trauma, so it is better to learn ways how to cope with tension and stressful situations.
- If you don’t have enough sleep, with time your thinking abilities will get slower and it increases the risk of dementia. Try to sleep 7-9 hours, and it is better not to use sleep medications, sometimes they can harm you more than help. Better try to create your “sleep rituals” that will help your body relax and settle down at bedtime.
Healthy food for your brain
All of the tips mentioned above are great, but we forget about the most important one – the Food. You may say, how food can change my brain? It can, and it will if you know what to eat. Multiple foods can help promote cognitive abilities for seniors.
Always remember one rule – control your cholesterol, and avoid food that is high in sugar and saturated fat. Pay extra attention to foods rich in vitamins E, B and Omega-3 fatty acids.
There are different diets created that focus on positive effects on brain function and cognitive health.
Here is the list of foods that help promote healthy brain functions for the elderly:
- Green leafy vegetables (spinach, lettuce, arugula – high in B vitamins and are great for an energy boost)
- Fish (better eat fish that is rich in omega-3, salmon is the best)
- Dark berries (blueberries and blackberries are full of antioxidants and protect from cognitive diseases)
- Nuts (almonds, walnuts and pistachios are preferable)
- Fat-free or low-fat dairy (Greek yoghurt is rich in probiotics protein and healthy fats)
- Cruciferous veggies and colourful fruits (Rich in fibre, vitamins and antioxidants)
- Avocado (contains antioxidant carotenoid which can protect your brain from oxidative damage)
- Chocolate (but only dark one, since it is rich in caffeine and as studies show, can improve memory function and increase blood flow to the brain).
It is extremely important to feed your brain not only physically but mentally. At-home nursing and hospice care MyLifeChoice will provide you or your relative with the best possible care and specialized attention.