Keeping your wits just got simpler

by • 04/24/2017

Healthy eating and an active lifestyle are touted as the universal tonic to brain health. While there is proven scientific research around the positive effects nutrition and physical activity have on mental performance, time is a factor that we cannot control. Age-related cognitive decline comes in various degrees. For some, it can manifest itself as just the occasional bout of forgetfulness. In other cases, dementia can drastically impact our day to day life. While we can’t turn back time or slow it down, we can take a proactive approach when it comes to mitigating the effects of cognitive deterioration.

 

The first step to addressing a problem is always to learn as much as we can about it. When it comes to memory loss, we shouldn’t view it as an aberration – all biological creatures are prone to age-related cognitive decline.

 

The human brain is for the most part unable to produce new brain cells when they die. In other words – once it’s gone, it’s gone for good. Which is why habits like excessive alcohol consumption, drug use and smoking should always be avoided. Within the context of brain health, once the damage has been done it’s very difficult to make up for it.

 

Because age-related cognitive decline is typically associated with the elderly, many young adults think that they won’t have to worry about it until they are 60. But that would be too late for us as maintaining and protecting our brain health is a long-term process. Cognitive decline starts as early as our early 20s and symptoms surface during the later stages of life. Brain aging happens over our lifetime so it makes sense that we should be caring for our brains throughout our life.

 

Unfortunately, brain aging can be accelerated by diseases such as Alzheimer’s. Research is revealing that these diseases may start 10-20 years before we being to show symptoms and sadly, today we still don’t have a cure. This means taking care of our brains early is our best defence against disease. Just like taking steps to care for your heart to decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease, here are some tips to keep your brain happy and healthy:

 

1.           Invest in a quality and research-backed brain health supplement (such as Revive by Senescence)

2.           Engage your mind with social activities (e.g. learn a new language, join a community garden)

3.           Ensure adequate dietary fat intake

4.           Drink plenty of water (around 2.8 litres a day)

5.           Get enough sunlight for vitamin D

6.           Exercise at least 150 minutes a week (moderate to high-intensity)

7.           Get plenty of rest

8.           Consult your doctor as early as possible

 

The benefits of taking care of your brain health early far outweigh the costs. It would be much better to “pay now” than “pay later”.

 

References

•            Dangour, A. D., Allen, E., Clarke, R., Elbourne, D., Fletcher, A. E., Letley, L., Richards, M., Whyte, K., Uauy, R. & Mills, K. (2015), “Effects of vitamin B-12 supplementation on neurologic and cognitive function in older people: a randomized controlled trial”, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 102(3), 639-647

•            Rathod, R., Kale, A. & Joshi, S. (2016), “Novel insights into the effect of vitamin B12 and omega-3 fatty acids on brain function”, Journal of Biomedical Science, 23, 17

•            Soni, M., Kos, K., Lang, I. A., Jones, K., Melzer, D. & Llewellyn, D. J. (2012), “Vitamin D and cognitive function”, Scandinavian Journal of Clinical and Laboratory Investigation Supplementum, 243, 79-82

•            Muldoon, M. F., Ryan, C. M., Yao, J. K., Conklin, S. M. & Manuck, S. B. (2014), “Long-chain Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Optimization of Cognitive Performance”, Military Medicine, 179(110), 95-105

•            Dyall, S. C. (2015), “Long-chain omega-3 fatty acids and the brain: a review of the independent and shared effects of EPA, DPA and DHA”, Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, 7, 52. Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25954194

•            Bauer, I., Hughes, M., Rowsell, R., Cockerell, R., Pipingas, A., Crewther, S. & Crewther, D. (2014), “Omega-3 supplementation improves cognition and modifies brain activation in young adults”, Human Psychopharmacology, 29(2), 133-144

•            Dunckley, V. L. (2014), “Gray Matters: Too Much Screen Time Damages the Brain”, Psychology Today. Retrieved from: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/mental-wealth/201402/gray-matters-too-much-screen-time-damages-the-brain

 

 
by • 04/24/2017