Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Wellness Wednesday: Keeping our brain healthy

Our brain. We use it every day, some of us more than others, but none-the-less. So how do we care for it? Just like the rest of our body, our brain needs the proper nutrition and exercise, but exactly how do we provide that? Read on.

A good diet for brain health is one that contains a good amount of omega-3 fatty acids (found in fish, especially fatty ones like salmon; also found in some eggs and is being added to "everyday" foods now too); whole grains; antioxidants; lots of fruits and veggies; and is low in trans-fat. Sounds a lot like the diet our body needs too, huh?

Exercising the brain is a little more interesting. In order for the brain to maintain its cognitive ability, it needs to constantly be processing stimuli. Stimuli can be provided by taking classes, learning new languages, and working on puzzles, both jigsaw puzzles and word/number puzzles. Experiencing new places and using our senses to experience new things also help keep our brain fit. If only it was so easy (and fun) to keep our bodies fit.

Speaking of keeping our body fit, that is also important for brain health. Getting your heart pumping increases blood flow, and therefore oxygen as well, to our brain. Avoiding unhealthy habits, getting plenty of rest (ever notice how hard it is to concentrate when your tired), and keeping our head (wear helmets when appropriate) and body safe all help keep our brain safe as well. Having a healthy body also decreases your risk of stroke, diabetes and heart disease, all of which increase your risk of dementia.

Dementia is usually an irreversible condition and one most of us would like to avoid. Let's do what we can to protect our brains now, so that we may enjoy all the days of lives.

PS- Don't forget to enter my Fiber One yogurt giveaway (it ends today!) and my YoBaby giveaway.

1 comment:

  1. Such a good reminder. You can also mix it up a little for your brain by brushing your teeth/hair with your non-dominant hand.

    So sad that everything is use it or lose it. ;)