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Keep Your Brain Young and Healthy

Updated on February 27, 2011

With the rise in Alzheimer's and dementia paired with living longer lives than ever before, it is more important than ever to keep our brains young and healthy. Did you even realize that you have the power to either improve or hurt your brain? The choices we make every day affect our brains. Here are some things you can do to keep your brain young and healthy.

First, eat brain food. Omega-3 is a fatty acid that is excellent for your brain. It is so important for the developing brain that many infant and toddler foods are fortified with DHA, a form of omega-3. Many companies are adding omega-3 to processed foods, which does help, but there are real foods that are better sources of omega-3. Wild caught fish, such as salmon and tuna, are excellent sources or omega-3, as well as nuts like almonds or walnuts.

I am sure you have heard that nuts are fatty and you shouldn't eat many. Know we know that they contain good kinds of fats that our brains need, so eat up. Blueberries are another excellent food for your brain. In fact, according to the book Super Foods Rx, by Steven Pratt, MD, blueberries have actually been shown to reverse the symptoms of Alzheimer's.

Your brain needs stimulation to keep it functioning at the top of its game. When we do the same things over and over again, such as taking the same route to work every day or visiting the same places each week, our brains are not stimulated and become passive. Trying new things will help our brains create new synapses and stay healthy longer. Figure out a way to try new foods, visit new places, learn something new, etc and your brain will thank you for it. I try to remember this when I am struggling to figure something out.

We live in a world where multitasking is essential. Unfortunately when we do more than one thing at a time, then we aren't able to focus completely on any one thing. I have felt for a long time that many people have completely lost the ability to really focus on something. Practicing yoga or meditation will greatly improve this aspect of brain function. Another thing you can try is to do just one thing at a time and really concentrate on it. If you are reading a book, don't have the TV on at the same time. If you are on the phone, don't go through the mail. If you are talking to your spouse or child, don't clean at the same time. Forcing yourself to focus on just one thing at a time will help your brain function better.

One of the best things you can do for your brain is to maintain a healthy body weight and get regular exercise. I feel these things go hand in hand. When we carry around extra body weight we are causing many parts of our body to be inflamed. Inflammation will prevent your brain (as well as the rest of your body) from functioning correctly. Getting regular exercise will help you stay at a healthy weight and improve your blood circulation, which will make it easier to get proper blood flow to the brain.

An easy way to keep your brain young and healthy is to protect your brain. Where a helmet when riding a bike, skiing, rock climbing, etc. I know that anyone can fall down and get a concussion just walking, but I won't let my kids play sports that have a higher risk of concussions, such as football or diving. Concussions will increase your chances of developing dementia as you age.

Most health experts tend to focus on keeping the heart healthy, but keeping your brain healthy is just as important, especially for maintaining a good quality of life as we age. Use these tips to help keep your brain young and healthy.

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    • Brinafr3sh profile image

      Brinafr3sh 6 years ago from West Coast, United States

      Good hub, very helpful. Oats are a great brain food also. (useful, vote up)

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 6 years ago from London, UK

      Thank you for your informative hub. It is a treatful and devastating disease.

    • katrinasui profile image

      katrinasui 6 years ago

      Thanks for this valuable hub.

    • fucsia profile image

      fucsia 6 years ago

      I like your advice to focus in what we do. Today we are always surrounded to things to do and often we do them without realize of how we do them. Sometimes while I do a thing I am already thinking about what to do after.

      For me this advice is particularly useful. Thanks!

    • crystolite profile image

      Emma 6 years ago from Houston TX

      Nice hub,thanks babe for your great lecture on omega-3 which is useful for a healthy brain and the use of helmet for a healthy brain.

    • RealHousewife profile image

      Kelly Umphenour 6 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      Great hub! I have been interested in how the brain actually works for so long - I even tried to do an experiment once in the sleep lab to see how much electricity goes though your ear when you answer a cell phone. The only problem? Cell phones operate on the same frequency as all the other equipment - so every time I tried to answer the phone with the electrodes on my head - it would knock out the cell phone signal:-). It was worth a try!

    • chspublish profile image

      chspublish 6 years ago from Ireland

      We certainky need to look after our best friend (in our head) and I agree with all your ideas. Good hub. Thanks.

    • KimberlyLake profile image

      Kimberly Lake 6 years ago from California

      Good points, thanks.

    • BlissfulWriter profile image

      BlissfulWriter 6 years ago

      Good points. I like nuts and berries. Yum. Exercise is good for brain health because it gets oxygen and blood to the brain. Most of the time, the things that are good for the heart also tends to be good for the brain.

    • sincerely25 profile image

      sincerely25 6 years ago from United States

      This is great advice! Great hub

    • Highvoltagewriter profile image

      William Benner 6 years ago from Savannah GA.

      Great hub and you beat me to the punch for I was going to publish a hub that would say much of the same things you speak of in your article. I am now reading a excellent book intiled "Your Miricle Brain" which discusses how diet plays a major roll in keeping your brain healthy!

    • Earth Angel profile image

      Earth Angel 6 years ago

      GREAT Hub Jennifer,

      I have a dear friend who is older and was beginning to show rapid decline in brain function. A good person but with a horrible history of poor diet and exercise. We had him tested and he was nearing the middle stages of Alzheimer's.

      The good news is that with proper diet including 'brain-boosting' foods, light physical exercise, the right medications and playing 'brain enhancing' games he was able to turn the clock back on his disease by at least ten years!

      GREAT Hub Jennifer! Thank you for sharing! EarthAngel!

    • Plarson profile image

      Plarson 6 years ago from Alabama

      Jennifer- Poster at the gym I attend says "Take care of your physical fitness now, or deal with your illness later." Certainly, the same rings true for your mental fitness as well. Good useful hub. TY. -Paul

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 6 years ago from United States

      I think you are absolutely right to do everything you can to keep your brain young by nutrition and generally healthy habits. Thanks for the information.

    • vic profile image

      vic 6 years ago

      Thank you for your informative Hubpage.