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One of the best ways to exercise your brain is to exercise your body. A healthy diet helps, too! Watch this video for specific brain training tips.
Transcript: One of the best ways you can exercise your brain is to exercise your body. Physical activity encourages...
One of the best ways you can exercise your brain is to exercise your body. Physical activity encourages blood to flow to your brain, stimulating the growth of new cells. For a fit brain and body, get at least 30 minutes of exercise most days of the week. Just remember to protect your head. Head trauma, such as from a concussion, increases your lifetime risk of dementia. Eating for a healthy body also promotes a healthy brain. In fact, diets high in saturated fat and cholesterol have been shown to increase the risk of Alzheimer's disease, so cutting out processed and fast food is the smart choice. A healthy brain diet includes plenty of dark, leafy vegetables, like arugula and spinach, as well as lots of dark-colored fruits, like blueberries and blackberries, all rich in antioxidants, which protect and nourish brain cells. A healthy brain diet should not include a significant amount of alcohol, however. Heavy drinkers are at a higher risk of developing dementia; so don't exceed one or two drinks daily. Similarly, toss the cigarettes out! Smokers are twice as likely to develop Alzheimer's. And perhaps one of the most fun ways to keep your brain healthy is to socialize! Meeting new people and spending time with old friends encourages new connections between brain cells. Plus, having fun reduces stress levels and, as we know, stress hormones can damage brain cells over the long term. Yoga, meditation, and talk therapy are also good for keeping your mind strong, but they shouldn't replace your brain's daily workout. The best brain exercises are games, like crossword puzzles, Sudoku, and cards. Challenging yourself to learn new skills is important because it encourages new connections between brain cells. Learn a foreign language, start a new hobby or even volunteer! Shake up your routine. It's as simple as taking a new route to work or try basic tasks using your non-dominant hand. Any activity that forces your brain to work in new ways keeps your thinking in tip-top shape!More »
Last Modified: 2014-01-21 | Tags »
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The media talks about antioxidants all the time, but what are antioxidants, really? Watch this video to learn how they benefit your brain.
Transcript: According to the American Journal of Physiology, your brain represents just two-percent of your body...
According to the American Journal of Physiology, your brain represents just two-percent of your body weight, but demands 20-PERCENT of your resting metabolism! In other words, your mind's your body's biggest energy hog, and you have to feed it well if you want it to perform. The best foods for your thinker are known as antioxidants, which include: Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and beta-carotene, a form of Vitamin A. To see how antioxidants work, understand that, like the rest of the body, the brain ages over time. Free radicals, unstable atoms or molecules that occur in the body, are partly to blame. When free radicals meet with oxygen, the result is rust-like oxidative damage to the brain. The good news is that antioxidants REDUCE that damage, keep the brain agile and help slow the aging process. Blueberries, one of the most powerful antioxidants, also reduces the effects of diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. Prunes, raisins, blackberries, and pomegranates are ripe with good-for-you antioxidants, too. Meanwhile, spinach, Swiss chard, and arugula are vegetables with excellent antioxidant power. Plus, these leafy greens help the body produce happiness hormones, like serotonin and dopamine. When consuming both fruits and veggies, remember: the darker the color, the higher the antioxidant content! Two other brain-boosting sources of antioxidants are probably already a regular part of your diet. I'm talking about coffee and dark chocolate. Aside from slowing down free radical damage, these substances contain caffeine, which enhances short-term memory. Plus, dark chocolate stimulates endorphins, which help improve mood! Just consume in moderation: one ounce of dark chocolate each day is plenty, and you should stop at two to three cups of java or tea. To further boost your brainpower, consume a healthy portion of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s are a primary building block of healthy brain tissue. Find them in coldwater fish like salmon, mackerel, and sardines, and aim for two to three four-ounce servings every week. A good brain diet is basically a healthy body diet. It's easy, natural and tasty, so go ahead and nourish your noggin!More »
Last Modified: 2013-10-01 | Tags »
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The brain is a powerful organ but it needs exercise too! Exercising your brain can improve your overall brain health and ability to remember things. Watch this video for memory-boosting tips.
Transcript: Several areas of the brain are associated with memory. The hippocampus, a librarian of sorts, integrates...
Several areas of the brain are associated with memory. The hippocampus, a librarian of sorts, integrates new information into short-term memory and maintains long-term memories within the cerebral cortex. The amygdala processes memories of emotion. Experts say it takes approximately eight seconds of focused concentration to route information through the hippocampus into the correct memory center. Exercising your brain helps stimulate new pathways among brain cells. Word games and puzzles are good, but challenging yourself with new activities is even better. Learn to play chess, the piano-or read a book about something you know nothing about. The more you challenge your brain to do things new and differently, the better. Take a different route home from work. If you're right-handed, brush your teeth or write with your left hand and vice versa. Physical activity is just as important. It increases blood flow throughout your body-and your brain. 30 minutes of aerobic activity a day, or an equivalent amount of brisk walking, gardening or doing housework, is key. Being active socially is a great way to combine physical and mental challenges, such as golfing, dancing or meeting for a Tai Chi class. Another memory-boosting tip is called "chunking," which involves partitioning large amounts of information into easily digestible bites. For instance, you can remember phone numbers in groups of 3, 3, and 4, or think of your grocery list according to sections of the store. Certain foods may boost your brainpower, too. A recent study looked at wild blueberry juice and found it improved the learning and memory of older adults and feeding your brain with antioxidant-rich vegetables, dark-skinned fruits, cold-water fish and nuts also helped. For more information about memory and mental health, please see other videos on this siteMore »
Last Modified: 2014-01-21 | Tags »
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