You probably know an older person who is as mentally sharp as anyone despite being in their 80s or 90s. However, you might also know a much younger person who cannot recall events and whose memory has taken a nosedive. Sometimes it's not the genes, but our lifestyles, that cause this difference, but there are some things you can do to give yourself a better chance at keeping your mind agile.
- Eat brain food
Scientists have observed that neurons in the brain seem to need docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) to function normally. DHA is one of the Omega 3 fatty acids, mostly found in fish. They are also found in eggs and seeds like chia seeds, pumpkin seeds and walnuts. Other foods like blueberries are also rich in gallic acid, which helps prevent degeneration and stress. Avocadoes are also rich in antioxidants, especially Vitamins E and C, that help prevent blood clots in the brain, thus helping to prevent stroke and improve brain function.
- Engage your brain more
Mobile phones have been getting a bad rap for getting people addicted to them, but you can turn phone use into a brain-building advantage. There are free brain-training apps on Google Play like Elevate. You can also play games like Sudoku and Crosswords to keep your brain active. Reading, one of the oldest forms of brain improvement, can be done through e-books on your phone.
Until the advent of bodabodas, we were a walking nation, but that convenience has largely taken that very healthy habit away. However, it may be a good idea to resume walking more. Researchers at New Mexico Highlands University (NMHU) found that the foot's impact during walking sends pressure waves through the arteries that significantly modify and can increase blood supply to the brain. Consider walking at least 30 minutes every day.
- Learn to play an instrument
A 2014 study in Liverpool showed that blood flow to the brain could increase after just half an hour of simple musical training. In addition, it was discovered that learning an instrument could help patients recover from brain injury. Twenty stroke patients were taken through just three weeks of musical training, and researchers reported that patients showed significant improvement after treatment with respect to speed, precision and smoothness of movements. In addition, motor control in everyday activities improved significantly. Playing an instrument also reduces stress and depression.
- Give electronic devices a break
Television should only be used as a means of entertainment once in a while. Instead, engage in mind-stimulating games like chess and scrabble. Having a good night's sleep is also essential for the brain, so you must turn off your phone and other devices one hour before bed. The light from the devices disrupts the natural sleep-wake cycle important for a good night's sleep.