Eat a Heart healthy diet
Research has shown that your brain and cardiovascular health are related. Eliminate or reduce trans and saturated fats and refined sugars to improve the health of your blood vessels and balance your blood sugar. Shift your focus onto including healthy foods and not just reducing unhealthy ones. Increases your intake of healthy fats, which include omega 3 fish oils, nuts and seeds and olive oil. Also aim for 5 or more servings of colourful veggies a day
Studies show memory and brain function improves if your total caloric intake is reduced. The brain functions more efficiently if you lower the amount of calories you eat everyday by about 30%. This will also help you balance your blood sugar and lose extra weight.
The body and mind connection
Staying physically active improves memory and mental function. Benefits are found after about 20 minutes of light to moderate exercise a day. The key to exercise is not high intensity but rather consistency month after month. This may be one of the most effective ways to not just improve your memory but to boost your heart health and mood.
Use it or lose it
Keep your brain active with meaningful relationships, interactions and brainteasers. Puzzles and games are great tools to help prevent memory loss and keep you sharp. Online games found on websites such as lumosity.com are a great interactive resource.
Maintain optimal nutrient levels
Key vitamins and nutrients are essential to the health of your brain and memory. Make sure you have adequate levels of B-vitamins, vitamin D and antioxidants to protect your brain. Talk to your healthcare provider to help measure your levels.
Supplements to boost your brain
Finally, once you have put in place the above points there are a number of safe and possibly effective natural supplement options. Some of most promising compounds include acetyl L-carnitine, curcumin, and DHA (from fish oil). The most effective strategy is to talk to a qualified naturopathic physician about a supplement plan that is best for you. For more information about a personalized brain health plan contact Dr Paul Hrkal for more information.
To watch my Brain Fitness segment on Rogers TV Peel, featuring brain boosting supplements, games and recipes, Click here
Dr Paul Hrkal