LIFESTYLE & ACTIVITIES
HOW TO MAINTAIN A HEALTHY BRAIN
Quick fixes rarely work in life—whether it's with regards to weight loss, "novel" money-making ventures or with personal development. And quick fixes will never work when it comes to your brain health and longevity.
There is no magic pill to sharpen memory or improve cognition. The truth is that maintaining a healthy brain throughout your life requires a long-term commitment to healthy lifestyle choices. This doesn't mean that supplements are not worthwhile; they can be extremely beneficial at supporting brain health. The issue is that not all supplements are created equal.
A thoughtfully formulated brain health supplement like CogGevity Advanced Brain Nutrition is an excellent complement to, and component of, a brain healthy lifestyle that incorporates a nutrient dense diet, consistent exercise, adequate sleep, and other choices in support of overall health and wellness.
Let's explore some of the activities and habits-backed by science—that can help you live well and stay mentally sharp as you age. For a free downloadable infographic click here.
BRAIN HEALTH TIP 1:
EAT A DIET RICH IN WHOLE FOODS
Diet is a powerful factor that affects our thinking and our mood in youth as well as through adulthood - and can impact long-term brain health as we age. Many people are consuming an abundance of the processed foods that line our grocery store shelves and are wreaking havoc on our brain health. Heavily processed foods are being stripped of their more nutrient dense ingredients—leaving little left for the brain and body to use as fuel and nutrients.
Consistently consuming whole foods in their natural form provides your body with the essential fats, fiber, carbohydrates, and protein it needs to thrive and survive. Whole foods help you feel fuller longer, and they do not result in the blood sugar spikes that can lead to insulin-resistance over time. Certain whole foods are particularly beneficial at reducing oxidative stress (e.g. berries) making these essential components of a healthy, brain supportive diet.
Strive to eat a diet low in processed foods and refined sugars and high in whole grains, fruits (not juices), vegetables, cultured dairy (with probiotics), lean meats, beans, nuts, and other healthy protein sources. Plant-based diets can provide much of the nutrition you need given the right planning and discipline.
BRAIN HEALTH TIP 2:
GET ENOUGH SLEEP
Americans are chronically sleep deprived—as many as one in three adults don’t get enough sleep each night, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). 5 Chronic sleep deprivation will can have a negative effect on the brain and body over time.
Science is helping to reveal the vital processes that occur in the brain while we sleep, which include memory consolidation.
When we are young it's easy to rationalize why we may cut corners around getting enough sleep, but this misleading thinking will inevitably catch up with us over time. Whatever your age or stage of life you are in, make getting a restful sleep a priority—your brain health depends on it.
BRAIN HEALTH TIP 3:
MOVE YOUR BODY - EXERCISE
The positive effects of cardiovascular exercise, including some styles of yoga, are well-established. The so-called "runner's high" isn't a misnomer, as any experienced runner can attest. Exercise releases feel-good chemicals called endorphins in the brain, that serve to support emotional regulation and positive feelings and may reduce the perception of pain.
Exercise helps to maintain a healthy weight. Exercise has also been found to improve memory and thinking skills. One study found that exercise actually increases the size of the hippocampus, the region of the brain associated with memory and emotions.
BRAIN HEALTH TIP 4:
DO SOMETHING NOVEL - LEARN A LANGUAGE
"Dove è il Vaticano?" Want to ask an Italian to point you in the direction of the Vatican with confidence? Take up a new language. Your foreign country hosts will appreciate your efforts when you visit, and your brain will thank you, too.
A University of Edinburgh study found that studying a new language boosts memory and attention. Even better news: These benefits were not limited to younger study participants; the researchers found significant improvements in attention in participants who studied language, regardless of the age of the participants (18-78 years). This type of learning "challenges" the brain and helps strengthen the connections in the brain.
It's never too late to study a new language or refresh your skills on a language you have previously learned as both will serve to support your brain!
BRAIN HEALTH TIP 5:
KEEP CHALLENGING YOUR BRAIN - PLAY GAMES
Just as we lose the muscle in our body over time, our brains can diminish as well – and just as weight workouts add lean muscle to the body, performing regular and appropriate brain exercises can increase the brain’s cognitive reserves. Games like Scrabble, chess, and Sudoku are ideal brain training activities to engage in regularly. Skilled game players have been found to utilize their brain in different ways than their non-game- playing counterparts—one study found that
Scrabble players used an entirely different part of the brain than did non-Scrabble- playing participants, indicating that playing games may actually help increase flexibility in the brain. Passivity can lead to atrophy – it pays dividends to keep the mind active."
BRAIN HEALTH TIP 6:
MANAGE DAILY STRESS - MEDITATE
Over time and with regular practice, meditation offers both short-term and long-term health benefits. In the short-term, meditation can help reduce stress and blood pressure and improve cognitive function. In the long-term, it can actually increase brain volume — one study found that experienced meditators had significantly larger gray matter volumes in the orbito-frontal and right hippocampal regions of the brain, which are thought to be responsible for emotional regulation and response control. Meditation is coming into the mainstream for its scientifically validated benefits and its effects on the body and brain. Make daily stress reduction a priority.
BRAIN HEALTH TIP 7:
TAKE A TARGETED BRAIN HEALTH SUPPLEMENT
Supplements can be an important component to a brain healthy lifestyle as they may provide the brain with key nutrients that it requires to thrive. CogGevity® Advanced Brain Nutrition is comprised of a proprietary blend of 6 key ingredients, each of which has been demonstrated in clinical research to have significant brain health benefits.*
CogGevity's complete formula contains:
- Longvida Optimized Curcumin: A naturally-occurring compound found in the root of the turmeric plant that has powerful antioxidant properties and is highly bioavailable*
- EPA & DHA: Omega-3 fatty acids in support of healthy cognition and mood*
- Decaffeinated Green Tea Extract: Has antioxidant properties that reduce the formation of free radicals in the body, which can help support healthy aging*
- Fisetin: A flavonoid (a plant phytochemical) thought to help support neural cell health and promote new connections between nerve cells*
- Vitamin D: An essential vitamin that works together with EPA & DHA to improve cognitive function and boost mood*
Safe, effective ingredients, backed by science, in one convenient softgel.
What is the best strategic plan to maintain a healthy brain as you age? Eat nutrient dense foods, exercise regularly, manage your stress, get a restful sleep, and consistently train your brain with novel activities and games.