The aging process isn’t just about gray hair and aches and pains, although those are often the first things people notice about aging. There are also changes in the brain that come with age, even if you’re still relatively young. While not everyone experiences them, it’s still important to know what to expect as you get older so you can try to fight off cognitive decline before it happens. This article discusses top ways to keep your mind sharp and strong as you age, including some surprising suggestions that can help stave off dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.
Watch Your Cholesterol and High Blood Pressure
Preventing your cholesterol and blood pressure from getting too high or too low can help protect your brain function. High cholesterol, for example, is associated with an increased risk of dementia in older adults, according to research published in Neurology. Low levels of vitamin B12 have also been linked to cognitive decline. Studies show that older adults who take vitamin B supplements (including B12) experience better memory than those who don’t. But it’s important to remember that these studies are conducted on people who already had some mild cognitive impairment, so it isn’t clear whether taking vitamins would make you smarter or prevent memory loss if you are currently healthy.
Stimulate the Brain
If you are looking for some great methods to keep your mind sharp and strong as you age, then it is time to stimulate your brain. Just like a muscle in your body, if you don’t use it regularly, it will become weaker and not work efficiently. While a power requires a specific exercise program, a mental exercise program isn’t quite as stringent. However, anyone can do some straightforward things that may help them achieve better mental health over time!
Don’t Smoke or Drink Excessively
Smoking and drinking are bad for your health in many ways and negatively impact your brain. Drinking alcohol leads to reduced cognitive function and lower IQ scores, so there’s a reason not to overdo it. Smoking can affect your memory as well as cause other health problems you might want to avoid.
Eat a Healthy Diet
Eat a nutrient-rich diet that includes vitamin B, vitamin E, folic acid, and magnesium. These nutrients can help protect your mind from free radical damage. Also, make sure to get enough omega-3 fatty acids by eating fish each week. Food sources of omega-3s include salmon, tuna, mackerel, and trout. A study published in the Journal of Neurology found that people who consumed fish at least three times a week had lower levels of cognitive decline than those who didn’t eat any fish. Another study published in Neurology suggests that people with higher blood levels of DHA—an omega-3 fatty acid—are less likely to have an episode of major depression or dementia.
Socialize with Other People
Staying active and social is essential for your mind as you age. Staying connected can help boost your mental capacity, memory, creativity, and overall quality of life. Don’t wait until retirement to start spending time with friends or family – planning activities that connect you with those around you will help keep your mind sharp.