One of the greatest longevity secrets you’ll ever learn is how to take care of your brain throughout your entire lifetime. Take these tips for a test drive and see if you don’t feel sharper in mind and body!
1. Omega-3’s for a Brain Boost
You may have heard that it’s great for your health to take fish oil every day, but did you ever wonder why? Fish oil, along with flax seeds and many nuts and seeds, contains high levels of omega-3 fatty acids. We’ve known for some time that omega-3’s support cardiovascular health, but the link between cardiovascular health and cognitive health is relatively recent. New scientific research indicates that people with higher omega-3 levels are more likely to perform well on cognitive tests of visual memory, attention, and abstract thinking, and to experience less age-related brain shrinking. Omega-3’s are also very helpful for reducing blood pressure, which can worsen your memory by inhibiting brain cell nourishment.
2. On-the-Go Anti-aging Trail Mix
Try this simple anti-aging trail mix to bring the power of omega-3’s with you wherever you go. Combine walnuts, pine nuts, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, dried goji berries, dried apricots, and dried blueberries together and keep in a small sealed container. Eat a handful of trail mix by itself or add to plain, unsweetened yogurt with some ground flaxseed.
3. Microalgae Does a Brain Good
Microalgae like blue green algae, chlorella, and spirulina are high-energy, high-protein supplements that support healthy brain function. They are easy to digest and contain an added health boost with over 100 trace minerals. Add to juices and smoothies.
4. Use It or Lose It
Exercise isn’t just for you body – you have to exercise your brain, too, if you want to keep it in tip-top shape! Set aside a time every day to challenge your brain with new memory and problem-solving tasks, including chess or crossword puzzles, learning the words to a new song, or writing with your non-dominant hand. When you do these activities every day, you are developing and engaging new neural pathways to keep your brain on the cutting edge.
5. Fit Body, Fit Brain
More good news about exercise: New studies suggest that exercising your body can help fuel your brain. During exercise, we’re rapidly activating and stimulating neurons in our brains, which send and interpret the messages that enable our bodies to move. Also, new studies with animals have suggested that when starved of blood sugar, neurons are actually able to maintain their energy levels by absorbing glycogen, a stored carbohydrate, from helpful neighbor cells. In these studies, after rats worked out on treadmills, they immediately ate, and the food seemed to go right to their brains – asometimes increasing brain glycogen levels by 60% in the areas of the brain associated with learning and memory. After 24 hours, the glycogen levels returned to normal, unless exercise was repeated every day. In the rats that ran for four weeks, these special stores of glycogen built up in the parts of the brain that support memory and learning.
Translation: You may be developing a sharper brain by increasing your glycogen stores through regular exercise that is immediately followed by carbohydrate consumption. What this looks like: Exercise daily, and after your workout, feed your brain with a healthy carb, like a banana. Then reap the brain benefits!