Wayne Joseph’s Blog

Running with the Big Dog

Three simple ways to keep your brain healthy in your Golden Years

The aging process takes enough of a toll on the human body without having the mind share the same fate. As we age, the brain is susceptible to various degenerative processes, from simple lapses in memory and concentration to outright cognitive decline or Alzheimer’s. Fortunately, there are simple ways to keep your brain healthy into your golden years. Here are three brain boosters to keep you on your mental toes:

Feed It: Your brain needs sound nutrition to function optimally. The outer membrane of brain cells requires a constant supply of fatty acids. That’s where omega-3s can help. Choline, a B vitamin present in high amounts in eggs, broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables, wheat germ and tofu, may also be important for brain neurotransmitter function while benefiting mood and mental performance.

Exercise It: Research suggests consistent physical activity can help people maintain memory and cognitive function as they age. According to at least one study, the exercise necessary to achieve brain benefits involved simple activities such as walking, gardening, cooking and cleaning. Another recent study showed that after a year of lifting weights twice a week, elderly women performed significantly better on tests of mental processing compared to women who participated in a balancing and toning program instead.

Challenge It: In a sense, if you don’t challenge your brain, stagnation can set it, leading to all sorts of problems over time. The solution is simple, research suggests: challenge your brain. How? Try crossword puzzles, chess, word problems or other strategies to keep your brain alert and engaged. The moral is simple: Take care of your mind and your mind will do the same for you.

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November 18, 2011 Posted by | Health and Fitness | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

For Better Health: Feed Your Brain

Suggestions for a healthier brain

Feed Your Brain

Brain health should be at the top of your list of health and wellness priorities; after all, you can live without a kidney, spleen, teeth, hair andother assorted elements of your body, but without a brain – well, there’s notmuch you can do after that. And you can’t get a brain transplant (at least notyet), as you can with other organs and appendages, which means it’s your job tofind ways to keep your brain as fit as possible for as long as possible. Hereare three brain-friendly nutrients to keep in mind as part of your daily diet:

Omega-3 fatty acids are associated with various health benefits; with respect to the brain, DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) is the major polyunsaturated fatty acid found in the brain and is linked to brain development and function. Good sourcesof omega-3s include seafood (especially cold-water fish) and supplements; manufacturers also have begun adding DHA to some dairy products.

 Choline, a water-soluble B vitamin, is a chemical building block of every cell in the body; that makes it a pretty important nutrient. Evidence suggests choline may improve memory and protect against senility in old age. Good sourcesof choline include egg yolks, skim milk, soybeans and lentils.

Folic acid, otherwise known as vitamin B9, is well-known for its effect on fetaldevelopment: adequate daily folic acid intake can reduce the risk of birthdefects such as cleft palate/lip. It’s also great for improving cognitivefunction (your ability to think clearly and remember things), suggesting it mayhelp protect against the development of Alzheimer’s. Spinach, asparagus andavocado are all good sources of folic acid; many cereals are also fortified withB9, and it is a staple of many daily multivitamin supplements.

 For more information, go to http://www.toyourhealth.com/mpacms/tyh/article.php?id=1219

July 31, 2010 Posted by | Health and Fitness | , , , , | 1 Comment

Self-Care Strategies for a Busy Lifestyle

Find ways to improve your health during stessful situations

Self-Care Strategies for Your Busy Lifestyle

According to Jack LaLanne, who still works out for two hours a day and eats at least 10 fresh, raw vegetables daily, “Exercise is king, nutrition is queen, and if you put them together you build a kingdom!” Here are a few ways you can build your own “kingdom” even in the midst of your hectic, stressful life.

 Challenge Your Body: Higher levels of physical fitness reduce the risk of heart disease and early death. Try to achieve a burn rate of greater than 10 calories per minute. If you go to the gym two to three times a week and spend 30-60 minutes per session, you can focus on 10-minute high-intensity sessions on your off days

 Feed Your Body: Nine servings of vegetables are recommended per day. (If you can do 10, like Jack does, go for it!) Boost the health benefits by eating different colors of produce. This is called the “technicolor” plan. Additional healthy eating suggestions include:

1) Eat more cold-water fish like salmon for the benefits of omega-3s. These lower the risk of heart disease, lower blood pressure, improve mood and concentration, and are good for the brain.

2) Drink red wine or eat grapes. The resveratrol in dark grapes is being studied for its effect on extending life, which it seems to do for almost every species studied.

 3) Eliminate sugar. Sugar’s effect on hormones, mood, immunity, weight, and possibly even cancer cells is enormous – and it’s all negative. To the extent that you can remove sugar from your diet, you will be adding years to your life and life to your years.

Rest Your Body: Insufficient sleep depresses the immune system, making you susceptible to colds, upper-respiratory infections, low energy, weight gain, a tired appearance, and other complaints like feeling irritable. Proper sleep hygiene involves getting uninterrupted sleep, in the dark, without the television on, in a relaxing environment.

March 17, 2010 Posted by | Health and Fitness | , , , , | 1 Comment