Sleep, Diet, Exercise, and Social Life Equals a Healthy Brain
Author: Dr. Alan Snow, PhD(i) : Contact: Cognitive Clarity Inc.
Synopsis and Key Points:
Brain health, like physical health, depends on lifestyle factors including diet, exercise and proper sleep, all of which reduce inflammation.
Exercise helps to reduce inflammation in your entire body including your brain.
Challenge your brain by learning new skills such as tennis, a foreign language, or baking, that requires precise measurement.
Lifestyle choices that reduce inflammation keep your body fit and your brain healthy. Dr. Alan Snow, PhD, who has been researching dementia and Alzheimer's disease for three decades, says inflammation is linked to a range of debilitating conditions including cognitive decline.
In October of this year, Dr. Snow presented his latest research report from "Scientific Reports - a Nature Journal" at the Annual Neuroscience Meeting in Chicago on Cat's Claw. Cat's Claw is a Peruvian plant whose extract reduced the markers of cognitive decline in mice - brain plaques, tangles and neuro-inflammation.
Anecdotally, people who take Cat's Claw extract support these findings. While this plant-based treatment may forestall the onset of dementia, Dr. Snow says;
"Brain health, like physical health, depends on lifestyle factors including diet, exercise and proper sleep, all of which reduce inflammation."
Dr. Snow Offers Brain Health Advice
Dr. Snow says;
"Exercise helps to reduce inflammation in your entire body including your brain. Long walks with friends are beneficial. But physical fitness leaders now call for those over 50 to challenge themselves with intense, shorter-duration workouts. If your doctor gives you the okay, consider a supervised High Intensity Interval Training or HIIT program."
"With HIIT, participants move rapidly through a sequence of aerobic exercise and resistance training, but for a shorter duration. You get fitter faster. Blood tests during physical exams can monitor your inflammation levels."
- Break bad habits like watching cable TV alone. Instead, invite friends and family for meals, game nights or to simply hang out.
- Look for ways to socialize with people of different age groups - especially if children and grandchildren live away.
- Join purpose-driven groups like theater, symphony, movie, book clubs and fitness programs that welcome people of all ages.
- Exposure to new ideas and perspectives keeps your brain active and healthy.
Learn New Skills
Challenge your brain by learning new skills such as tennis, a foreign language, or baking, that requires precise measurement. Something as simple as brushing your teeth with your non-dominant hand stimulates the brain by forcing it to think outside of its normal routine.
Nutrition experts are now more concerned about cutting sugar than fat from our diet," says Dr. Snow adding, "Partially hydrogenated oils or trans fats are unhealthy, but good fats like olive oil and butter are fine."
He adds, "Sugar can sneak up on you. A can of Coke has 39 grams of sugar. At four grams per teaspoon, that's a whopping ten teaspoons of sugar. Processed foods often contain hidden sugar and sodium as well. Eat fresh fruits, vegetables, meat and fish instead packaged products. Heart healthy foods are brain healthy too. Cut down on alcohol and quit smoking."
Treat Head Trauma Seriously
Concussion increases dementia risk.
After any head injury, medical professionals now urge diagnoses for possible concussion that may include tests for vision, hearing, balance, strength, and sensation as well as a CT scan.
"Depending on the results, doctors may recommend taking a break from laptops and TVs as well as mental and physical activity until symptoms subside. follow their advice," says Dr. Snow.
Get Enough Sleep
Seven to eight hours of sleep a night is more important to good health than most realize.
"Sleep is essential to a properly functioning brain and may have a hand reducing toxins that build up during the day. Sleep enhances concentration, reduces depression, lessens inflammation, and is helps with weight management and heart health," notes Dr. Snow.
Dr. Snow is the recipient of 18 National Institute of Health grant awards including grants to identify new plaque and tangle inhibitors. He is a co-inventor on 342 issued patents in the US and Internationally. Dr. Snow is the founder and CEO of Edmonds, Washington-based Cognitive Clarity Inc.
(i)Source/Reference: Dr. Alan Snow, PhD. Disabled World makes no warranties or representations in connection therewith. Content may have been edited for style, clarity or length.
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