Having watched firsthand the diminishing mental acuity of several elderly people I know, I wanted to learn more about keeping my own brain fit and healthy, more as an exercise to alleviate my own anxiety than anything else. I am told it is normal at about the age of fifty to forget where I placed things, not recalling names of people I have met in the past and even losing my train of thought in mid sentence more than in the past. I am not the only one feeling the effects of age in my inner circle. I felt it was time to write about my findings and make it as simple as possible for an aging population to do what they can to retain and even reverse these mental losses.
As we get older, we have become accustomed to making jokes about our memory lapses and have begun to accept them as inevitable. Mental functions do diminish with age but this does not have to be the case. Being somewhat forgetful as we age, is not uncommon and does not mean we will be afflicted eventually with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. Serious loss of cognitive function is always a possibility but we can do things to lessen our personal risk just as we can do things to cut our risk of diabetes or heart disease.
One fascinating fact is that the brain is wholly reliant on sufficient and quality nutrition, utilizing roughly one third of any nutrients supplied by food. Therefore, healthy nutrition is an integral part of having a healthy brain and can literally modify how we cogitate and experience things. Actually, with a decent diet, nourishment and use of recollection, the memory can continue to be functional and acute, deep into a person’s nineties and likely longer.
Based on the investigations of experts in this field, lifestyle choices and factor are responsible for nearly twenty percent of those people suffering from memory loss, these reasons would include:
• Poor diet and nutritional level: predictably a diet that lacks in essential vitamins is a problem, vitamins like C, B12, riboflavin, and thiamine. Just a simple insufficiency of these vitamins can lead to an interference of cognitive capabilities. In addition, diets that a lacking in certain minerals that are required for optimum brain activity would include iron, iodine, zinc and copper.
• Dieting for weight loss: Calorie restriction can result in hypoglycemia and this can develop into some uncomfortable mental reactions like a failure to keep one’s focus, tiredness and moodiness.
• Smoking: Tobacco use could result in restriction within the vascular system, which is a provider of oxygen flow to the brain just as it acts to decimate the lungs. This is harmful since a continuous deprivation of oxygen to the brain will impede cognitive procedures, deplete energy stores and hinder memory unification and reclamation. As a result, it can mean the destruction of millions of brain neurons.
• Consuming alcohol excessively is possibly the most hazardous thing a person will do to their brain. Regularly drinking inordinate amounts of alcohol will actually shrink vital cognitive regions of the brain. We all know we should not drink to excess so this is an easy one to nip in the bud. If it is not so easy there well could be other issues worth investigating.
• Environmental contaminants: The world is full of toxins; lead for instance is abundant in many societies even still and can lead to serious brain swelling that leaves a person mentally impaired. Additionally, contact to mercury could mean developing perilous adverse effects. Scientists now see a strong link between dental silver filling compounds with the inception of Alzheimer’s disease. Well worth considering replacement dental work if you ask me!
• Various drugs – pharmaceutical and recreational
• Contact with allergens causing severe reaction, in particular food allergies: Many people, both adults and kids have allergic reactions to some foods. Their reactions are either quite serious or a reduced form of sensitivity to an allergen. Reactions also vary in severity from a cognitive function aspect causing absentmindedness, blue moods, migraines, anxiousness and hyperactivity. It is a good thing that all these food allergies can be diagnosed and dealt with.
Furthermore, these subsequent factors can lead to loss of memory:
• Thyroid disorders
• Poor circulation to the brain
One more important thought, everyone should think about having a hair analysis completed to determine if there is any toxic buildup of heavy metals in the system like aluminum or lead. Both of these elements can lead to cerebral damage and poor cognitive functionality.
So as a result of all of this knowledge, what can we do to enhance and hone our mental acuity?
Dietary Suggestions From The Experts Include:
• Eating low fat meals. It is said that what is good for the heart is also good for the head. This makes sense considering some experts consider the plaque buildup in Alzheimer’s patients is similar to arterial cardiovascular plaque.
Keep away from processed sugars since they have a tendency to “turn off” the brain.
Consume a good amount of spinach and blueberries due to the amount of flavonoids these foods contain. They are known to assist in memory retention.
Mix complex carbs with food containing ten percent protein and ten percent fats since carbo laden diets have a bad effect on an individual’s memory. For instance, you could consume cereals and fruits along with nuts and seeds, starchy food such as potatoes, bread, pasta and rice, along with fish, lentils, beans and tofu.
Ingesting nuts like almonds and walnuts as well as seeds such as pumpkin, flax, sunflower and sesame are excellent for healthy brain function.
Try to limit your caloric intake: Do not starve yourself but try and eat on the light side. It will be easier for you if you consume nutrient laden foods and eat low fat meals.
If possible, ingest free range, organic eggs since they come enriched in omega 3 fatty acids.
Olive oil is great for salads and for use in cooking meals. Be sure it is the extra virgin olive oil variety.
Reduce your consumption of foods that are fried, overcooked or highly processed as well as meat and dairy foods. The former because the preparation procedure removes most of the antioxidant and nutritional value.
Consuming fatty type fish such as mackerel, herring, salmon sardines and fresh tuna a few times each week provides you with omega 3 fatty acids from a food source.
Try and get vegetable protein source from foods like beans, lentils, and quinoa, tofu and seed veggies.
Try and get adequate servings [at least 4] of whole grains daily from foods like millet, rye, oats and whole wheat.
Consume five or more portions of fruits and veggies each day. Choose your vegetables that a deep green and leafy and vegetables of the root variety like carrots, potatoes, broccoli, watercress, brussel sprouts, spinach, green beans or peppers eaten either lightly cooked or better yet, raw. As for fruit, try apples. Berries, pears, melons or citrus fruits.
• Consume an antioxidant formulation consisting of: Vitamin A in a carotenoids mix, Vitamin E as an amalgam of tocopherols, vitamin C, inc, Selenium and copper.
B-complex vitamins – 50 mg
CoQ10, soft gel capsules – 30 mg
Magnesium: Almost all of us are stressed to some extent these days so our memory is surely affected by this. You should be ingesting far more nutrients such as magnesium, as a mineral, it has a soothing effect.
• Brahmi, an herb from Indian traditional medicine Ayurvedic, aids in circulatory system and raises blood flow in the brain. It has shown it can improve long as well as short term memory.
Garlic has proven effective at augmenting memory
Ginkgo biloba has a unique capability to enhance the flow of blood to the brain and entire nervous system; thus, improving memory and cognitive ability. To augment memory, you should initially try forty mg of a regular extract thrice daily with a meal and do this for a period of two months to test it. Ginkgo is non toxic.
Some other memory enhancing herbs you will find supportive are: i) Anise ii) Blue cohosh iii) Ginseng [only if you do not have a history of hypertension] iv) Rosemary
• As mentioned, experts have proven that consistent physical activity has time and again produced copious quantities of nerve growth factors. It is true that we can actually restore lost neurons in our brain. Since this phenomenon has been found along with its benefits, it has become considered fountain of youth, capable of keeping the mind youthful, vigorous and regenerating over your whole life span.
Consistent physical training will assist the brains of mobile and active seniors, assisting them to be more cognitive and aware than the brains of many young sedentary couch potatoes!
Investigative research studies have exhibited that exercising your brain is just as vital as physical training is to the rest of your body. It not only aids memory and knowledge retention but it will aid the brain from a physical perspective
Actively Pursue Mental [Mind] Training
Experts agree the trick to better memory is – attention. Therefore, try to concentrate on the things that you would like to recall and make certain you supply a meaning to them. Frequently, we will fault our failure to recall information on a defective memory when in actual fact; the problem was not giving something enough attention to begin with. We also need to be sure we get adequate rest and avoid getting overtired, as this will directly affect our ability to concentrate.
The trick to attention is – motivation. In reality, nearly all of us have trouble recalling due to a lack of interest in doing so. It is possible that our motivation is altered somewhat when we advance in age, more so than memory does. Therefore, we need not be overly concerned with our memory, chances are good that not anything is wrong with it.
We should try holding our breath for half a minute each hours for thirty days since this should readily improve our mental acuity – dramatically.
Keep your mind mentally active by utilizing your brain every single day. Reading is great, surf the Internet, work at crosswords or word puzzles, Sudoku and the like. Studies have shown that working your memory means it will become more vital. In essence this means – the more you use it, no matter what your age is, the bigger your brain will be and its functionality will be far better.
Practice deep breathing exercises regularly to better regulate the flow of blood to the brain.
In closing, it is important to understand that the greater majority of individuals who believe their memories are going – in actuality are not losing it at all. Your memory should work fine well into your senior years provided you understand how to nourish it, nurture it, keep it active and always challenge yourself.
Getting older does not have to be a death sentence waiting for your brain to fail you. What you have just read will prepare your brain physically, and your conscious mind mentally to continue to provide you with years of active and flawless acuity if you look after it well starting right now.