Taking care of brain health and cognition made easy with these simple tips

Taking care of brain health and cognition made easy with these simple tips

The ability to understand and gain knowledge can be protected by eating a healthy diet, getting regular exercise, consuming vitamin D, and participating in social activities.

Written by: Anne Marie Stevens and Khan’s Taboo
Media contact: Anna Jones

Samira Davuluri, Physician,
Photography: Julie Nicole Miller
according to Alzheimer’s Disease International10 million people develop dementia each year, and the number of people with dementia is only expected to increase. However, there are ways to improve brain health and prevent at least some of the complications that come with aging, dementia, and similar conditions.

The University of Alabama School of Medicine at Birmingham Marnix E. Hersink wants to help patients learn more about the relationship between brain health and lifestyle through the Brain Health Initiative, created by clinics in the Department of Family and Community Medicine and UAB Evelyn F. McKnight Brain Institute.

Samira Davuluri, M.D.،, Assistant Professor and Medical Director of the Family Medicine Clinic at UAB Hoover Primary CareProvides tips on how to keep your brain healthy.

Eat a healthy diet

Diet is an important component that affects health in general. According to Davolori, some diets that are good for the heart are also good for the brain.

“There is no single food that is essential for brain health, nor is there evidence that eating or avoiding a particular food can prevent cognitive decline,” Davuluri said. “However, patients should focus on a mixture of healthy foods throughout their lives to strengthen their mind and body.”

Following diets such as the Mediterranean diet, the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet and a combination of two called the MIND diet can help improve brain health. MIND’s diet includes leafy greens and other vegetables, berries, whole grains, fish once a week, poultry twice a week, beans, nuts, and olive oil as cooking fat. Moderate amounts of wine are allowed in both the Mediterranean and MIND diets.

Davuluri suggests staying aware of your alcohol consumption, and limiting pastries, processed foods, red meat, full-fat dairy, and salt. She also suggests eating fish because it is the strongest factor influencing higher cognitive function and slower decline.

“Diets high in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are beneficial for improving brain health by reducing risk factors, such as stroke and heart disease,” Davuluri said. There are no vitamins or supplements that have been shown to prevent cognitive decline. Always speak to your primary care physician as some conditions and vitamin deficiencies (B12 and folic acid) that can cause cognitive decline can be reversed. It is never too late to start a healthy diet and try to make incremental, small, sustainable changes.”

Please speak to your primary care provider or visit Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015-2022 For more specific recommendations about your daily alcohol intake.

exercise regularly

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention It states that regular physical activity is an important part of a healthy lifestyle, and is good not only for muscles and bones, but for the brain.

According to Davuluri, several studies link aerobic physical activity to improved cognition.

Most adults should get 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week. This can be broken up in 30 minutes a day, five days a week,” Davuluri said. “It doesn’t have to happen in one period and just happen in the gym. Try to incorporate activities into your daily routine such as walking your dog, being physically active while watching TV, etc. “

Be social

Engaging in social and community activities is good for brain health as well as mental health.

“Social activities can reduce isolation and improve well-being, which in turn improves cognition,” Davuluri said. “Pursue your hobbies, try to learn something new, and try to challenge yourself intellectually, like solving crossword puzzles, learning a new language, etc. Get good sleep, follow a daily routine, and focus on a healthy diet.”

Take Vitamin D Supplements

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, available naturally in certain foods, fortified with others and as an over-the-counter dietary supplement. When UV rays touch the skin, they are also produced within the body.

“Vitamin D primarily promotes calcium balance in the body and helps in strengthening bones,” Davuluri said. “It also has other roles, such as reducing inflammation, modulating immune function, etc. At this time, there is not enough information available to find any association between vitamin D levels and brain health.”

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