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

 

Game Review: Midsomer Murders Meets First Year Philosophy

Developed by The Chinese Room, Everybody's Gone to the Rapture sees the player exploring what appears to be a recently abandoned idyllic English village trying to figure out where everybody's gone. Spoiler: they've gone to the rapture. (On a serious note, this review contains plot spoilers.) More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: Clear Science

It was really after his move to Wellington, to Victoria University, that it became apparent that Sir Paul Cllaghan was much more than an eminent physicist... More>>

ALSO:

Francis Cook: Weekend SportzMania! All Blacks! Netball!

Sports were on all weekend. I normally don’t write about sports but with Richie McCaw tipped to be the next Prime Minister, and Colin Craig arguing sports are almost as important as politics, I thought “what better time to start!” More>>

ALSO:

Beervana: Aussie Pav Beer Declared Taste Of NZ

In a surprising upset, an Australian beer modelled on the pavlova, created by Brisbane brewery Newstead Brewing, the 250 Beers blog and Scratch Bar, has been announced the winner at the Beervana craft beer festival ‘Flag Brew’ competition, which challenged media and brewing teams to capture the distinctive taste of New Zealand. More>>

ALSO:

Transport: Air NZ Teams Up With All Blacks For Men In Black Video

Inspired by the Columbia Pictures global film franchise Men in Black, Air New Zealand’s latest safety instalment features All Blacks’ Captain Richie McCaw and Dan Carter as Men in Black agents. More>>

ALSO:

World Champions: BRADAS Of Identity Company Take On The World And Win Gold

This is only the second time since NZ has qualified for the HHI world finals that NZ has taken home a GOLD medal in this division. REQUEST Dance Crew being the only other NZ crew to achieve this. New Zealands only other medal this year was Silver for the Royal Family in a very close final in the Megacrew division. More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: Contrary To Popular Belief - Lloyd Geering

Many older Dunediners like myself, and indeed older Presbyterians and others throughout the country, will remember the controversy aroused by the articles and speeches of Professor Geering, Principal of Knox College Theological Hall in the late 1960s... More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Health
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news