Health & Wellness

Keep Your Brain In Tip-Top Shape

By Tawnya Manion | January 23, 2013

The human brain needs exercise and proper nutrition to maintain cognitive processing and a functioning memory. According to the Nurse’s Health Study, a long-term analysis conducted on nurses by Harvard Researches at the Harvard School of Public Health, certain foods and mental exercises can improve the cognitive functions of the brain. This study is the largest and longest running human examination of factors that influence bodily health. Currently, 238,000 participants cooperate with researches to gain new insights into how to prevent and/or cure illnesses like Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, cardio vascular afflictions, and diabetes.

The substantial discovery made in the study consists of the findings that diet, physical exercise, and lifestyle choices play a significant role in our physical health, which means if you make proper decisions about  what to eat and include the “power foods” suggested by the researchers, you can live a longer, healthier life uninterrupted by preventable diseases. So, incorporate these medically proven foods and activities to help keep your brain in tip-top shape.

Photo: 3liz4

Eat a handful of walnuts. Walnuts not only resemble the brain but contain a significant amount of omega-3 fatty acids. This fat aids in the composition of the soft tissue contained within the skull, and replenishes the brain with its structural fat. Furthermore, walnuts contain antioxidants which may help counteract age-related psychological decline, and may even reduce the risk of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Dementia. Eating a handful of walnuts a day will supply you with 60 percent of your daily value of omega-3 fatty acids.

Eat berries, especially blueberries. According to the Nurse’s Study, those who ate more servings of blueberries (and strawberries) preserved their brain function to a greater degree than those who ate less. Furthermore, the study showed that consuming just two servings of blueberries a week provide’s enough antioxidants to protect the coordinating center of sensation and intelligence.

Challenge your intellect. When you take on a new task or challenge your smarts you strengthen the brain. Keeping the mind active increases its continuity and may even produce more brain cells. Great ways to keep the brain active includes crossword puzzles, attending lectures and plays, enrolling in classes at local adult education centers, or reading college level material such as the New York Times or Wall Street Journal.

 

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