Maintain a Healthy Brain
We rely on our brains for so much—from paying attention to what’s around us to solving problems, communicating, and achieving our goals. That’s why you need to actively work to keep your brain functioning well no matter your age. We turned to Dr. Philip Gorelick, a neurology expert and longtime volunteer with the American Heart Association (AHA), to learn more about how a healthy lifestyle can boost brain potential.
Follow a Nutritious Diet
You are what you eat! According to the AHA, a brain- and heart-healthy diet includes plenty of produce, lean animal or vegetable protein, low-fat dairy, nuts, legumes, and whole grains. Incorporating these foods into your regular diet can improve the health of your brain, which could translate into better cognitive function, memory and alertness.
Staying connected to others can help to stave off depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues. Even when we can’t be together physically, it’s still important to find creative ways to connect with family, friends, co-workers, and neighbors regularly. “Social isolation is a big problem and can lead to mental decline,” shares Dr. Gorelick.
Sleep on It
Did you know that a good night’s sleep is a time for great productivity for your mind and body? Aim for 7 to 9 hours of sleep a night. Hard as it may be, consistency is key. That means going to bed and waking up at the same time each day—even on weekends, vacations, and holidays. As Dr. Gorelick details, getting enough sleep will help your brain retain information, remain alert and solve problems.
Note: Since everyone’s health history and nutritional needs are so different, please make sure that you talk with your doctor and a registered dietitian to get advice about the diet and exercise plan that‘s right for you.