News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search

 


Brainweek - Roadmap to a healthy brain

Roadmap to a healthy brain
www.brainweek.co.nz

Exercise the body

Physical exercise has a protective effect on the brain and its mental processes, and may even help prevent dementia. Regular exercise promotes cardio-vascular health, boosts levels of brain-protective chemicals and reduces stress. Aim for at least 30 minutes exercise a day.

Adequate sleep

Sleep recharges the brain and allows the body to rest and heal. While we sleep our brain consolidates memories. Inadequate sleep affects the way our brain cells function and can raise the risk of stroke and depression. About 7 to 9 hours a night is ideal.

Manage stress

High levels of chronic stress are not only bad for blood pressure, cholesterol, and other physical ailments, but it also wears away at brain fitness and overall memory performance. We can't entirely eliminate stress from our lives, but we can minimize it to improve brain health and memory ability.

Balanced diet

Our brains need a well-balanced, low cholesterol, low saturated fat diet. Studies have shown that foods rich in Omega-3 are good for the brain so include fish in your diet. Enjoy caffeine and alcohol in moderation and as a general rule, good nutrition for the body is good nutrition for the brain.

Stay socially connected

Maintaining friends and social networks can help keep our brains healthy as we age. Living life to the fullest and having fun is an easy prescription to follow.

Mental Workout

Use it or lose it! Keeping the brain active seems to increase its vitality and may build its reserves of brain cells and connections. You could even generate new brain cells. Stay curious and involved commit to lifelong learning to keep those brain cells working


www.brainweek.co.nz

BRAIN EXERCISES
Memory

Funnily enough, your memory plays a pretty crucial role in all cognitive activities including reading, reasoning and mental calculation. It’s a pretty handy thing to have, to keep and to expand on! There are simple things you can do to help keep your memory on track, for example, try simple exercises such as listening to a song you don’t know and memorising the lyrics or even brushing your teeth in a different way. By trying new things you’re using pathways you haven’t used before and in turn are engaging the senses to help stimulate your mind and strengthen your memory.

Attention

Help your brain stay attentive and maintain concentration despite noise and distractions and improve your ability to multitask. Try Switching up your routines, change around your desk lay out or drive a different way to work. It’s the little things that count so avoid auto-pilot and increase awareness.

Language

Want to improve your fluency, grammatical and vocabulary skills? Challenge your ability to recognize, remember and understand words with simple little tricks and tasks – it’s as easy as reading a different section of the newspaper! For example if you regularly read the sports section then switch to the business, and you’ll soon become familiar with the lingo. It’s also easier to read and understand new words in context, but if you don’t recognise a word, make sure you look it up.

Visual-Spatial

Analyzing visual information is necessary to be able to act within your environment. It’s a colourful world out there, and there are lots of things to remember. Tying in with memory training, play a game with yourself when you’re sitting waiting with nothing to do; pick out a few objects in the room and try remember where they were located. Try to remember again a few hours, or even a day later.

Executive function

Not nearly as complicated as the name suggests, executive function is all about the logic and reasoning skills you use on a daily basis. This is where your friends come in. In order to hone in on these skills, get out there and socialize. It’s good for your brain. Not only is this fun form of therapy good from a mental well-being perspective, but it also boosts your intellect through the amount of strategizing you’re doing just from hanging with your mates, through considering possible responses for desired outcomes.

www.brainweek.co.nz

BRAIN FOOD

Salmon

There’s nothing fishy about it, salmon stacks up as one of the top tier brain-power foods. A great source of essential fatty acids (such as the all-important Omega-3), protein, low saturated fat and with generally among the lowest amounts of contaminants (such as mercury) among seafood, wild salmon is good for your brain, your mood, your synaptic connections and your arteries and helps reduce your risk of a stroke, Dementia and Alzheimer's. Other oily fish also stacks up pretty well, but no, deep fried doesn’t count.

Cocoa Beans

Cognitive enhancement, mood and bliss-enhancement, antioxidants, flavonoids, catechins and many other brain & body-enhancing elements, this is one of nature’s super-foods. While it is better known to us in the not-quite-so-healthy form of chocolate, you’re not doing yourself any favours by grabbing a block of the old dairy milk. For some of the good stuff, look out for products which have a high percentage of cocoa such as in dark chocolate bars, or pick up some organic cocoa powder for nom-nom drinks (refining, processing and over-roasting depletes the actual nutrients so be wary).

Berry Good

They’re delicious, they’re nutritious, get berrilicious for some super-good brain action. Blueberries come out on top with the highest antioxidant power, which can in turn help protect your brain against stroke or other neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease.

Wholegrain

Having issues remembering why you came into a room? Remember what this article is about? Make sure you’re getting enough folic acid, vitamin B12 and vitamin B6 and you might just see an improvement in your ability to recall information. Hit up your cereals, wheat bran, wheat germ and whole wheat pasta to get your daily dose.

Eat more tomatoes

A tomato a day keeps dementia away. Chuck these little beauties into your salads and sammies because there is good evidence to suggest that tomatoes contain a powerful antioxidant called Lycopne. This lovely little lifesaver can help protect against the kind of free radical damage to cells which occurs in the development of dementia, particularly Alzheimer's.


www.brainweek.co.nz

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

NZ on Air: More Funding For TV Captions To Increase Access

More funding for TV captions to increase access NZ On Air has increased funding to provide more captions and audio description on television programmes for the hearing and sight impaired. More>>

Music: So Laid Back Country China Album Release

On Friday night, So Laid Back Country China held a gig at Meow for the release of their new album With Knees of Honey in Goodbye Canyon. I briefly spoke with Harriet lead vocals, keyboard) and Michael (lead vocals, guitar) before the gig More>>

Art: Wellington Region Celebrates Matariki

Eight Wellington museums and galleries have joined forces to present a major programme of exhibitions and events to celebrate Matariki 2015, the Māori New Year. The Wellington Matariki Festival will host more than 60 free events and activities between Saturday ... More>>

Wellington: TEDxWellingtonWomen Speakers Unveiled

The lineup is announced today for the highly anticipated upcoming event TEDxWellingtonWomen. Speakers include local women and men who have lived extraordinary lives and have ideas worth spreading. More>>

Culture: RNZB Showcases NZ Artists With Two World Premieres

The Royal New Zealand Ballet’s mixed bill Salute - Remembering WW1 which opens on 22 May will showcase the talents of New Zealand artists working at the top of their field. More>>


Books: Witi Ihimaera To Address ‘State Of NZ Literature’at Festival

6 May 2015 MEDIA RELEASE Witi Ihimaera to Address ‘State of NZ Literature’ at Dunedin Writers and Readers Festival The New Zealand Book Council has chosen the 2015 Dunedin Writers and Readers Festival as the stage for its annual address, which ... More>>

Culture: Historic Māori Portraits Travel To The Czech Republic

Image credit: Gottfried Lindauer, Wahanui Reihana Te Huatare, oil on canvas, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, gift of Mr H E Partridge, 1915 More>>

Art: Something Felt, Something Shared - Enjoy

Gabrielle Amodeo, Ruby Joy Eade, Clare McLean, Kalya Ward Curated by Emma Ng May 7 – 30, 2015 Opening: Wednesday May 6, 5.30pm Strange frequencies are channelled through personal narratives and poetic placeholders in Something felt, something ... More>>

Culture: Pukeahu Park ANZAC Day Commemoration 2015

Pukeahu Park ANZAC Day Commemoration 2015 Images from New Zealand Defence Force Click for big version A bugler plays The Last Post Click for big version A View from the top of the Carillion Click for big version Faces old and young Click for big ... More>>

Television: MediaWorks Announces Dancing With The Stars Hosts

MediaWorks and BBC Worldwide ANZ are delighted to announce host Dominic Bowden alongside co-host Sharyn Casey for the hit series Dancing with the Stars. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Health
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news