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5 Tips to Maintaining a Healthy Brain

Maintaining brain health is important in minimizing the risk of dementia. The most common cause of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease, the seventh leading cause of death in the United States. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, currently more than 6 million Americans have Alzheimer’s, with someone in the United States develops the disease every 65 seconds.

With June being Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month, it is a great time to learn more about fostering healthy habits that can keep your brain sharp. Below are five helpful tips:

Challenge your mind. Researchers found that keeping your brain mentally stimulated will help keep you sharp and less likely to experience memory loss. Mind challenging activities like solving puzzles, playing computer games, card games, or learning a new skill; all are great ways to keep your brain active and improve agility.

Feed your brain. Following a healthy diet is the best strategy to ensure optimal health. Research shows that the best brain foods are the same ones that protect your heart and blood vessels. Incorporating foods such as fatty fish, green leafy vegetables, nuts and berries are vital to maintaining a nutritious diet as well as a healthy brain. Studies have also found that a ketogenic diet is directly connected to brain health. Increased ketone levels ultimately improve brain function.

Stay socially active. Creating and developing connections with others not only makes life fun and interesting, but it has also been linked to lowering the risk of dementia and increasing life expectancy.  According to the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry who are isolated or lonely have a 50% increased risk of developing dementia and a 26% increased risk of all-cause mortality.

Add Vitamin K into your daily routine. Vitamin K supplementation is linked to lower levels of irritability, hopelessness, worry and grief. Vitamin K helps protect against damage to nerve cells in the brain which can be associated with mental health problems. Taking sufficient amounts of vitamin K consistently improves one’s mood, which in turn improves brain function.

Rest is key. Sleep deprivation can lead to problems with memory and cognitive abilities. Researchers found that sleep helps clear abnormal proteins in your brain and consolidates memories, boosting your overall memory and brain health. Adults should aim to get between seven and nine hours of sleep nightly to benefit and perform at their cognitive peak each day.

Maintaining a healthy brain is critical for decreasing your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and improving overall cognitive health. While there are some factors you cannot control such as age and genetics, you can reduce the risks with some small lifestyle changes. If you experience memory loss, consult with your healthcare provider.

Bio: Justin Marsh is the Founder and CEO of Arthur Andrew Medical, a leading manufacturer of enzyme and probiotic-based dietary supplements, headquartered in Scottsdale.

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