What is Brain Health?
The more we understand the brain and dementia, the more we realize that it’s tied to many different facets of your lifestyle, social engagement, and health. For this reason, brain health is more than just eating the right foods. It often includes a myriad of steps that ensure your brain stays active, healthy, and bright. Here are some of the biggest risks to your brain health over time.
Although some aspects of sleep and its effect on brain health are still a mystery, it’s well documented that getting a regular (and sufficient) amount of sleep each night can have substantial benefits in extending your memory ability and keeping your mind and body healthy.
Certain foods can be especially beneficial to your brain’s health, like leafy greens, fatty fish, berries, and nuts. Having a varied diet that focuses on fresh, non-processed food can be a great life change to benefit your brain and your body.
Social isolation can take a toll on both your brain health and your mental health. Without stimulating social encounters, many people experience cognitive decline more rapidly. Social isolation has also been linked to physical concerns as well, like heart health, poor sleep, and inflammation.
Why is Brain Health Important?
We’re still in the beginning stages of understanding cognitive decline, so it’s important not to rely on a cure. Instead, preventing cognitive decline by keeping your brain healthy is the best way to enjoy a long, fulfilling life. Learning how to optimize brain health can mean less burden on your loved ones if you begin experiencing cognitive decline, and you can also help your friends and family know what steps to take for their own brain health. The brain is one of the most important organs in the body, so it’s important to get the most out of it.
What Steps Can I Take?
Good brain health can require some lifestyle changes that may be difficult at first. You can begin by assessing your diet and exercise habits to make sure your body is getting everything it needs. Your gynecologist may recommend taking supplements or beginning some easy exercises every day. Also, you can discuss your sleeping habits and how you can make sure you’re getting restful, valuable sleep. Finally, it’s extremely important to stimulate your brain regularly— this means getting regular social interaction and challenging yourself by solving puzzles or learning a new hobby. Engaging your brain like you would a muscle can mean it stays healthy for years to come.
Schedule an Appointment
Although it’s not commonly talked about, brain health presents a disproportionate effect on women. Speaking with your gynecologist can be a great first step in creating a prevention plan. To schedule an appointment with our team and learn more, contact our New York City office by calling or filling out our online form.
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Frequently Asked Questions
How can I check my brain health?
Some methods of testing brain health include memory tests, balance tests, CT scans, or blood tests. If you are concerned about your brain health, schedule an appointment with a doctor.
How can we improve our brain health?
Maintaining or improving brain health often follows similar guidelines to improving overall health. To improve your brain health, you should exercise regularly, get enough sleep, eat a nutritious and balanced diet, stay mentally active through hobbies like reading or doing puzzles, and maintain social interaction with friends and loved ones.
How can I exercise my brain?
Some activities that are good exercises for the brain include completing puzzles, learning new skills, expanding your vocabulary, listening to or playing music, and meditating. These can improve brain health, including concentration, memory, or focus.
Do brain supplements work?
Certain vitamins and nutrients are important in supporting brain function, and supplementing these can be beneficial for overall brain health. Some examples include omega-3 fatty acids, B vitamins, vitamin C, and vitamin E.
How can I test my memory?
There are ways to test your memory at home. However, a professional memory test with a physician is the best way to determine if memory problems are present.