How to Keep Your Brain Healthy as You Age
“You’re only as young as you feel.” “Age is just a number.” “Grow old gracefully.” You’ve heard these phrases before. And if you could guarantee this is what aging looks like it might not be so bad.
But that’s not always the case. As you age, your risk goes up for a number of different problems, including dementia. Right now an estimated 50 million people worldwide are living with dementia, and about 10 million more develop dementia every year.
It’s a brain disease marked by loss of memory, communication skills, thinking, and even the ability to perform basic daily activities like take a shower, get dressed, or eat.
And it’s not just the person with dementia who suffers. The person’s entire family and circle of friends experience dementia with them as their condition worsens. It’s also expensive to care for people with dementia with a price tag that’s estimated to reach $2 trillion a year within the next decade.
Is there anything you can do about it? Age is a factor. But healthy lifestyle habits can dramatically reduce the risk for developing dementia.
Want to keep your brain healthy as you age? These healthy lifestyle habits will make a difference:
- Be physically active. Aim to get 30 to 60 minutes of exercise a day.
- Don’t smoke, or quit if you do.
- Avoid or limit alcohol
- Maintain a healthy weight, or lose weight if you need to
- Eat healthy foods. Mainly fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole grains, legumes, low-fat dairy, and some fish and lean meats
- Maintain a healthy blood pressure. Below 120/80 is normal
- Control blood sugar levels to prevent or manage type 2 diabetes
- Control total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol, and maintain HDL (good) cholesterol
Take a closer look at the list of things that help prevent dementia, and you’ll notice more than half of them are directly related to your diet.
Wondering where to find healthy meals to protect your brain as you age? It’s easy. Just check out the Senior-Friendly meals, all made from fresh ingredients, to give you a vitamin-and-nutrient packed meal every time.