Your brain changes as you age, shrinking in volume and causing nerve cells to shrink as well or lose connections with other cells. Circulation of blood throughout the brain can decrease, causing a decline in cognitive function and mental energy as well as gaps in memory. You can help prevent these possibilities, however, and help keep yourself mentally sharp by following these six suggestions.
Your diet can have a significant role in the health of your brain, especially as you age. To protect your brain and reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease as you get older, keep your blood pressure and cholesterol under control by eating foods low in saturated fats, salts, and sugars. Eat foods high in B vitamins as well as vitamin E and omega-3 fatty acids. These include leafy green vegetables, seafood, and berries.
Just like physical exercise keeps your body healthy and strong, one way to keep your brain healthy and strong is to exercise it. You can do this by learning new subjects and skills, reading, and engaging in stimulating conversations with friends. Other ways to keep your brain active and stimulated are to use repetition to remind yourself of what you know and allow different lengths of time to pass between repetitions, so you engage and strengthen your long-term and short-term memory.
And speaking of physical exercise, don't forget that your brain is a physical organ. Getting and staying in shape can help improve the flow of blood and oxygen to your brain. Vigorous cardiovascular (aka aerobic) exercise is particularly beneficial in this regard.
An active social life helps keep the brain stimulated and engaged with the outside world. What's more, not only does social engagement with friends and loved ones keep your spirits up, but it's been linked in at least one study to lower dementia risk.
A positive outlook on life can go a long way toward helping you live a happy, productive, and self-sufficient life. Find ways to bolster and maintain your confidence, as a belief in your mental competence and abilities can help you to achieve and retain those qualities. By the same token, a lack of confidence or optimism can lead to mental lethargy and stagnation.
The right herbal supplements can help support your brain in staying sharp. Erigeron breviscapus, aka lifeflower, is a plant used for centuries in Traditional Chinese Medicine to improve memory and learning and boost mental and physical energy alike. Farlong Pharmaceutical produces an all-natural lifeflower supplement called Lifeflower Breviscapine containing herbs grown on Farlong's 6,000-acre, GMP-certified farm in China and distributed from many local vitamin and ginseng stores, acupuncture clinics and online in the United States.