Brain health of our seniors
Aging has a major impact on the functioning ability of the brain health of our senior loved ones. As we age, our brain literally shrinks in size by almost 10% of it’s normal size. Developing neurological and various mental disorders have almost become synonymous with old age. The various mental problems that haunt our loved ones include depression and dementia.
Ways of improving the brain health of our seniors
Our seniors live in a constant fear of cognitive decline as they age. Stoping the onset of mental health conditions, is the key to achieving good brain health. To keep diseases at bay and to achieve a good physical health. We should exercise, have good food and stay away from stress. All these are important for protecting it from the adverse effects of aging. Therefore, the key to achieving good mental health includes:
- Exercising the mind
- Feeding the brain with nutrient-rich foods
- Keeping stress at bay
Tips and suggestions to help with brain health
Exercise your mind
Exercise is important for keeping our body healthy and fit. Also, exercising the mind is a great way to keep it healthy and preventing cognitive decline. Following are some of the ways to improve the mental fitness of our elderly loved ones:
This is by far one of the most effective ways of improving our brain health. Memory exercises can be as simple as remembering your grocery list. Also, performing some simple mathematical calculations in your brain. All these activities serve as a great fuel to your brain. Which makes it active and prevents it from cognitive decline in the early years. Research has proved that the more your elderly practices brain exercises. The more you can ward off various mental disorders like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
Thinking games are a great way to activate the brain cells and perk up the cognitive functioning. Thereby improving the memory of our elderly.
Crossword games are another way to make your brain work. Solving puzzles makes your brain think. Also keeps you occupied for hours. This one exercise helps to improve the cognitive ability of your brain. And also delays the effects of aging on the mental health.
Keep stress at bay
It seems that stress is one of the major cause of depression and hampers emotional well being. Keeping stress at bay enables our elderly loved ones to enjoy a good emotional health. Which in turn improves their cognitive functioning. There are various ways by which we can help our elderly to keep their stress at bay.
Meditation is basically practiced keeping a reference point. Which can either be a single word or even a phrase or a picture. Concentrating on a single thing helps in improving the focus. And thereby helps in keeping the mind calm and free from anxiety and stress.
Be socially active
Being socially active has a positive impact on the emotional well being of our loved ones. Promoting a positive feeling in life.
- Interacting with friends
- Participating in group discussions
- Taking an active interest in developing new relationships
Lack of sleep and improper rest takes a toll on the mental health of our elderly. With age, there is a significant decrease in the amount of sleep. However, the quality of sleep should remain unaltered, so that our elderly can enjoy a good peace of mind. Therefore, it is necessary that our elderly get enough time to relax and practice methods. Which can allow them to get a proper sleep at night.
Researchers have pointed towards a strong link between mental diseases and nutrition. In addition, several researchers believe that while treating diseases like cognitive disorders. The key focus should be on the compounds in certain foods. Dr. Susan Taylor Mayne, a professor at Yale University. Says that the supplements we pop in every now and then, contain “out of the context nutrients”. But, fresh produce contain vitamins and minerals. Along with other phytochemicals are necessary for our health. But also serve as a protective effect against diseases such as Alzheimer’s.
More on Nutrition
In view of this, our loved ones shouls treat themselves to some super foods. Which are extremely beneficial for their brain health. Furthermore, a combination of foods, with a variety of nutrients. Are more beneficial in the prevention of Alzheimer’s Disease than isolated nutrients.
Superfoods that boost brain health
Green leafy vegetables
According to a research study in the Journal of Food Science and Technology. Green leafy vegetables have a protective effect on diseases such as Alzheimer’s. Yet another study published In the Journal of Nutrition Health Aging. States that regular consumption of fruits and vegetables decreases the risk of cognitive decline as one age. However, older individuals who take blood thinners regularly. Should avoid those green leafy vegetables that are high in Vitamin K content. This is true in case of some specific blood thinners and not all. For more specific information, you need to consult the doctor and take the best decision.
It has many benefits if eaten regularly. It can really do wonders for our cognitive functioning. It is a rich source of omega – 3 fatty acids. It significantly reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Stated in a study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease. However, while further studies are being conducted on the understanding. The role of omega–3 fatty acids in decreasing the incidence of Alzheimer’s disease.
Fruits such as grapes, pomegranates, and berries are some of the super foods. They improve the brain function. Berries such as blueberries have antioxidant properties. Their dark purple skin and are also rich in flavonoids. Which are again known to protect the brain against brain damage. Also, grapes, as well as pomegranates, are also rich in antioxidants. Which boosts the brain power and keeps it protected from oxidative stress.
Herbs and Spices
Herbs and spices, are also one of the important super foods for improving brain health. They also add flavor and color to the diet. A research study in the Journal of Central Nervous systems Agents In Medicinal Chemistry. States that the neuroprotective effects of the herbs and spices improve the cognitive function.
Chocolates and Coffee
Our senior loved ones love chocolates and coffee. And research states that their caffeine content does wonders in improving the brain function.
Olive oil has received the much-needed attention owing to its various health benefits. The polyphenol content of olive oil improves the cognitive functioning. Furthermore, according to a study published in Nutritional Neuroscience. Olive oils have the neuroprotective effect which protect against aging, Parkinson’s disease as well as Alzheimer’s disease.
Keeping our brain health can be hard at times. With the above tips and suggestion, you can stay as sharp as you can. Also, check out this post on the different stages of Alzheimer’s.