Improve brain health following these 10 Tips (Part 3)
10 Ways to Improve Brain Functioning (Part 2)
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One of the most frequent questions we are asked at A Mind For All Seasons is, “How do I keep my brain healthy and active?”. With Alzheimer’s cases on the rise, people everywhere have noticed an increase in the number of articles, blog posts, videos, books, commercials, and interviews about things that can boost brain functioning and cut your risk of developing dementia. With so much out there, it is easy to get overwhelmed and fail to make progress, so we decided to simplify what the research has shown and provide ten key things you can do. We encourage you to start with one thing on the list and work at it until you have improved in that area. Then, one by one, add others until you have transformed your lifestyle into one that helps you improve brain health. Part one of this series reviewed the importance of physical activity, a brain healthy diet, good sleep, fasting, optimal hormone levels, and social activity. Part two of the series addressed the importance of brain training and improving gut health. To round out your list of ten ways to improve brain functioning, consider avoiding brain toxins and learning to relax.
Some researchers suggest that as much as 30% of Alzheimer’s cases may be attributable to environmental factors that injure the brains of those who are genetically susceptible. These environmental factors can include inorganic and organic hazards, exposure to toxic metals (aluminum, copper, mercury, arsenic, lead, cadmium, etc.), pesticides and herbicides (organochlorine and organophosphate insecticides), industrial chemicals (flame retardants, Teflon, plastics or plasticizers, etc.) and air pollutants (particulate matter). Long term exposures to these environmental contaminants and a weakened detox system between the liver and bowel in vulnerable seniors are speculated to induce inflammation in the brain that paves the way for developing Alzheimer’s disease. Be sure to use appropriate protective equipment if you are working around solvents, pesticides, herbicides, and other potentially hazardous chemicals. Many foods have pesticide residues on them, so buying organic produce- especially when purchasing things like berries, apples, lettuce, and other foods that are routinely sprayed- is an important way you can reduce the toxins in your body.
Finally, learn to relax! Countless studies over many years have pointed to the damaging effects of stress and the role it plays in cardiovascular disease, depression, anxiety, and memory loss. We live in a hectic world that celebrates the nose-to-the-grindstone, high-stress, little sleep environment many of us have come to tolerate. We should shift away from the notion that such a lifestyle is a badge of honor. Planning time for rest and recovery does not make you weak- it sharpens you and allows you to have more to offer when you are at work. Be intentional about your time to relax and make sure you spend consistent time when you are ‘unplugged from the grid’. The constant pull of social media, news outlets, phone calls, email, text messages and other digital distractions can be a big contributor to stress levels, so make sure you plan time away from them.
We hope you have enjoyed this look at 10 Ways to Improve Brain Functioning! We are passionate about changing people’s lives for good by helping them protect their brains from the ravages of Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia. Contact us today to learn more about our comprehensive, multi-modal approach toward brain health!