BRAIN HEALTH AND WOMEN
Post by on Tuesday, September 21, 2021
We all want to stay sharp and focused as we age, yet our brains change over time. Problem-solving, memory and recall, spatial reasoning, and information processing can slow or diminish over the years. This is a normal part of aging, but it doesn’t have to slow you down. Your genes are not your destiny. Even women who have a family history of Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia are not destined to develop it themselves. The choices we make every day matter.
Ways to protect brain health over the decades:
Eat a healthy diet. A healthy diet high in vegetables, fruits, legumes, and whole grains, with moderate amounts of fish and dairy and minimal meat, sugar, and saturated fat, may help reduce the risk of dementia.
Get plenty of exercise. Moving your body is not only essential for physical health (exercise can help lower blood pressure, improve blood sugar balance, and improve cholesterol levels), it’s also known to improve mental function and feelings of wellbeing. Plus, exercise triggers the development of new nerve cells and synapses in the brain, leading to greater efficiency and brain “plasticity.”
Stop alcohol consumption. Heavy drinking is a major risk factor for dementia, because alcohol produces a byproduct that is toxic to brain cells. Women should avoid alcohol consumption.
Stimulate your mind. Mentally-stimulating activities like playing games, solving puzzles, or taking courses can help stimulate connections between neurons (nerve cells) and may even help generate new brain cells.