Week 11: Boost Your Brainpower
Shore up your social network: Having good friends to lean on—and remain socially engaged with—keeps our minds active and our moods light. Because depression,
stress and anxiety can take a toll on the brain, the benefits of friendship ultimately can make it healthier. Put forward
the effort to meet your pals for lunch and fit in that girls’ night out.
Polish of produce: According to a study in Neurology, people older than 65 who consume more than two servings of vegetables each day have a 40-percent-less cognitive decline than those who eat fewer servings or none at all. Also, it’s a good idea to incorporate more Mediterranean-diet staples into your regimen, such as fatty fish (salmon, tuna), olive and other vegetable oils, nuts and whole grains. Such foods are rich in polyunsaturated and monosaturated fats, the building blocks of healthy brain cells.
Get off the couch: According to a study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, aerobic exercise actually increases the size of the anterior hippocampus, leading to improvements in memory function. So squeeze in some exercise whenever you can.
Challenge your mind: Keeping your brain active, particularly by learning new things, builds cognitive reserve. The more robust your brain is, the better it will be able to cope with disease-related damages as you age.
Photo Credit: Flickr / Ryan-Wenxian