It is normal for changes to occur in the body and brain as people get older. Skin starts to lose its elasticity, and fine lines and wrinkles start to appear. Bones lose their density, which makes them weaker while muscles begin to lose their flexibility and strength, which can lead to instability and a lack of coordination.
Unfortunately, the effects of aging are not just limited to the body. The brain is also affected; indeed, it starts to shrink between the ages of thirty and forty. Every brain declines at a different rate, and memory slips are normal the older one gets.
You might find that sometimes you struggle to learn new things or recall names of things at times, which can be frustrating. However, the good news is that there are various things that can be done to slow down brain decline. Below are just a few ideas.
Train Your Brain
It is important to remember that the brain is a muscle and like other muscles in the body it does require training or “exercising” to stay in tip-top shape. If you make a point of regularly training your brain, it will slowly increase mass, and this can help with memory.
Brain training includes things that keep you mentally active such as doing crossword puzzles, playing cards, doing a jigsaw, playing Sudoku, or using apps that test working memory. You should also limit the amount of time that you spend watching TV or sitting on your phone scrolling through social media posts as this is classed as passive activity and does not stimulate the brain in any meaningful way.
Exercise benefits the body, but it is also great for the brain. Staying physically active improves blood flow, which is beneficial in helping to reduce cognitive decline. You do not need to run a marathon, but you should aim to include regular exercise in your routine. This might mean a brisk walk for thirty minutes three times per week. Other exercises that increase heart rate include dancing, hiking, swimming, and sports such as tennis, soccer, and basketball.
Make Sure You Get Enough Sleep
There are theories that the brain consolidates memories while we sleep while getting rid of any abnormal proteins. By doing this, it improves brain function and health, so it is vital that we are getting enough sleep.
As well as getting enough sleep, it is important that we get quality sleep. Fragmented sleep can affect the brain’s ability to store memories, which can in turn affect memory function. The naturopathic doctors at KIYA longevity agree that consecutive sleep is best for the body and brain and say that certain naturopathic sleep supplements may help to regulate sleep patterns if you are struggling.
Eat Brain Boosting Foods
There are certain foods that are great for boosting brain function and health such as oily fish like salmon, sardines, trout, and herring. These fish contain essential omega-3 fatty acids, which are vital for memory function and learning.
Turmeric is also said to be a fantastic brain-boosting food thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties. Turmeric contains the active ingredient curcumin, which improves memory function and encourages the growth of new brain cells.
Oranges have high levels of vitamin C which boost brain health and prevent mental decline. And you would only need to eat one orange a day to get the recommended amount of vitamin C. Vitamin C is also found in other foods including tomatoes, bell peppers, strawberries, and kiwis.
Other brain boosting foods include nuts, dark chocolate, broccoli, blueberries, pumpkin seeds, eggs, and green tea.