Supporting Brain Health As We Age

By Claire Bacon, ACN, CNC

Did you know, all of the daily choices you make play into how well your brain functions? The activities in which you spend your day, the foods you consume, and your other lifestyle choices are a big part of your brain health!

When your brain has the blood flow, nutrients, and oxygen it needs, it can give you its best performance. When your brain is healthy, you’re more able to communicate, solve problems, pay attention, and so much more. A healthy brain is essential for living a full and long life!

Your lifestyle choices can affect how well your brain functions!

Common Conditions Involving Cognitive Decline

Research studies indicate that approximately 75 percent of common disease processes are dependent upon our lifestyle choices. Dementia and Alzheimer’s are two very serious conditions that also have aggravating lifestyle factors. With these conditions, a person’s cognitive ability slowly declines. They initially experience confusion, mood swings, short-term memory loss, and difficulty communicating, which worsens over time. Over the course of disease progression, the brain becomes so damaged that bodily functions become impaired, leading to multiple organ failure.

For many years, it has commonly been recognized that aluminum exposure from environmental and dietary sources can cause toxicity and neuronal degeneration in the brain. A relatively new concept is that inflammation from dietary sugars can cause permanent brain dysfunction; as a result, cognitive decline conditions are also being called “Type III” diabetes by some clinicians and researchers. The risk of developing cognitive decline is approximately 65% higher in those with diabetes, compared to those without diabetes.

There is increasing hope for better prevention of Dementia and Alzheimer’s in the future. As researchers continue to progress and learn more about the brain, we also learn better strategies to keep the brain working optimally. Click this link to download an extensive and informative document from the Global Council on Brain Health. And continue reading below for six easy steps you can take to support a healthy brain throughout your Golden Years.

6 ways to Help prevent Cognitive Decline

Dietary Choices to Support brain health

First things first, we need to stop marinating our brains with sugar! Remember, sugars and simple carbohydrates come in all shapes and sizes, not just cake and ice cream. Be mindful of the sugar in things you may consider healthy, as they may have tons of sugar inside of them! Surprising sources of hidden sugar/starches include: spaghetti sauce, granola bars, instant oatmeal, yogurt, salad dressings, and breakfast cereals. One of the worst types of foods for hidden sugar are pre-made protein drinks – especially those that are marketed to Seniors! Take a look at the labels and you will be shocked.

According to the American Heart Association (AHA), the maximum amount of added sugars we should eat in a day are: Men: 150 calories/day (36 grams) and Women: 100 calories/day (25 grams). You can easily exceed that amount with one pre-made protein drink!

It would help to focus your diet on consuming the following:

  • Proteins: chicken, beef, salmon, cod, pastured eggs, legumes, nuts, seeds, and other wild-caught fish and game meat.
  • Non-Starchy Vegetables: spinach, Brussels sprouts, asparagus, zucchini, cucumbers, eggplant, artichoke, a variety of lettuces, and many more – most of what you’ll find in the produce section!
  • Good healthy fats: butter, ghee, avocado oil, coconut oil, palm oil, grapeseed oil, and tallow. All of these help make your brain more resilient, so be sure to incorporate these into your diet.
Brain Health-Supporting Supplements

3 supplements that Help Prevent Cognitive Decline:

  1. Tuna Omega 3 bridges the gap in dietary Omega-3 intake and supports the body’s natural inflammatory response. Omega-3s play a major role in improving mood and sharpening memory by improving the ways that cell membranes function (taking in fuel, and releasing toxins). For this reason, Omega-3s protect your brain from overall cognitive decline. Everyone 60 and older should be taking supplemental Omega-3s, because the fact is, we simply don’t get enough in our regular diet.
  2. Ginkgo Forte supports memory, cognition, and circulatory support for healthy mental aging. It has also been shown to promote mental alertness and clarity, as well as preventing unwanted platelet aggregation, a common concern for many in our aging population.
  3. Diaplex supports the body’s normal processing of sugars and carbohydrates, which far too often form the basis of elderly diets. Diaplex does this by providing nutrients that the pancreas, liver, and gallbladder need for normal functions.

In conclusion

Maintaining our brain health is one of the most important things we can do for ourselves and our quality of life as we age. By following these strategies, you can keep your brain healthy, prevent lifestyle-induced diseases, and live your absolute best life!

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