Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Brain Shrinkage

Did you know that your brain shrinks by 10% by the time you’re 55?
And it shrinks 20% by the age of 75?

Brain Atrophy was always thought of a part of growing older .  Well it’s NOT inevitable!
Causes of brain shrinkage does mirror the symptoms of aging;  obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, poor sleep, distress, etc, but it doesn’t have to be. 1

So how do you protect the brain from shrinkage?

1)      A Healthy Diet.  Duh a No Brainer…..lol.   Increase your consumption of fish and seafood (ie: sardines, herring, salmon, shrimp, cod & tuna).
2)      Add antioxidant supplements to your diet that help reduce cardiovascular risk, lowers your blood sugar and improves your sleep. 2.  Aim for natural foods and drinks.  Some examples include; Spinach, Carrots, broccoli, citrus fruits, berries, dark grapes, nuts (Walnuts, Brazil Nuts, Peanuts), Seeds (Pumpkin, Squash & Safflower).  
3)      Minimize your alcohol consumption.
4)      Exercise the Brain.  Switch from your dominate hand,  Do puzzles and Problem Solving Games or games that involve Memory Recall. (I like Stratego…) and Reading all help.
5)      Physical Exercise.  This is one of the biggest brain robbers (lack of).  By increasing fitness white and grey tissue density of the brain improves.  Exercise has been shown to build new brain cells.
According to a study in the Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences, regular aerobic exercise increased blood flow to the memory-related areas of the brain in just 3 months.3
6)      Meditation Yoga and Prayer  . Hospitals call this “relaxation response,” as it lowers blood pressure and anxiety.
7)      Socializing – Take a tip from Centurions,  keeping an active family/social life is not only important for living a long life, but a sharp one too…

One more point regarding exercise - According to a University of Edinburgh study, Those that exercised more had less brain atrophy, less damage to the wiring of the brain and greater volumes of grey matter - your "thinking" cells.  And, they did NOT find any association between being more socially or intellectually engaged and Brain Health!

So, Hey…..when it comes to your brain – SIZE DOES MATTER!

2 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov › NCBI › Literature › PubMed Central (PMC)
3 http://www.symptomfind.com/healthy-living/brain-exercises-for-memory/#uFFSIxKscygKHmp7.99
4 https://www.aarp.org/health/brain-health/info-01-2013/exercise-may-protect-aging-brain.html

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