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Take Good Care of the Brain to Help Keep Your Smarts

At a recent health talk in Phoenix* given by Dr. William Sears he said the #1 disease people will be challenged with will be of the brain. Many people have the markers for brain disease, but the observable signs may take ten years to be evident. We can make an effort to keep building neural pathways, which is how the brain sorts, stores, and retrieves information, and how our muscles get signaled to move. There are five ways to take care of the brain so it too can age gracefully.

Nutrition

Our brain burns 25% of our food intake, needing both carbohydrates and fat (including Omegas) Our health always benefits from making good choices. Choose smart complex carbs of  at least 10-12 servings of whole fruits (especially berries) and vegetables (especially greens), healthy fats from avocados, nuts and seeds, wild caught salmon, and a good multi-omega plant supplement.* Included below is a recipe that can make eating more raw veggies easier by having a dip.

Exercise

Though a behavior such as walking may seem automatic, the brain is actively at work when we move. It is important to keep our mobility and range of motion through exercise and stretching. The best type of exercise is the one that we do and commit to do often. Recent studies have shown dancing to be a great exercise to engage the brain as one has to remember the steps, keep to the tempo, and negotiate them with a partner who may be fumbling!

Mental Stimulation

A brain scan was done on a group of boys who engaged in video games requiring fast reactions. Even with the seemly intent focus, they found very little of the brain was engaged in thinking, so cross off digital input as a good means of mind stimulation. However, they found that getting out in nature vastly improved brain activity.Learning new skills that involve motor movement such as playing a musical instrument, or a craft (painting, sewing, repurposing /making items), the skill of juggling, or even using your non-dominant hand build connections in the brain. Try learning a foreign language that you practice conversation with another, or take a class on sign language and offer your skills.  Planning trips to new places and learning the culture and nuances of the area can be a fun way to stimulate the mind!

Socialization

Keep active in interacting with others and making new friends- -either get out of the house or invite people over! Start a group of an interest of yours or challenge you want to make for yourself, like a gourmet supper club, or a Bible study group, or a card/board game group. Volunteer in the community to organize and problem solve with others solutions needed to improve, or to serve those in need. By contributing we have a sense of purpose and being needed.

De-stress and Rest, Sleep

There is a lot of noise in the world with all the electronic devices at our fingertips, but we need daily quiet. We benefit from down time to just be, let the mind wonder, to reflect and think about things, to make plans, or to be grateful. Perhaps to relax by reading, praying. Sleep is very important to health, especially in the hours before midnight. Try to turn off electronics and hour before bedtime, and make a routine of getting to bed around 10 PM and sleeping in total darkness. It is better to start your 7-8 hours of sleep at 10 PM for the quality of sleep is greater starting at 10PM, than later.

(*If you want to get on the notification list of free health talks in the East Valley, or for more information on a plant based multi-omega email janet@cookremodeling,com and request the information)

 

“The LORD is good to those who trust in Him, to the one that seeks Him…
Lamentations 3: 25

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