Everyday ways you can protect your brain health

Brain health is unfortunately sometimes overlooked in contrast to physical health. Yet the rate of Alzheimer’s and dementia are soaring, with the number of people around the world living with the condition expected to rise to 131.5 million by 2050. 

A report states that approximately 4.1 million people are living with dementia in India. Worldwide, India has the second-highest number of dementia sufferers. This number will probably rise to 7.6 million by 2035, according to the Alzheimer’s and Related Disorders Society of India titled Dementia in India Report 2020. It is thought that many sufferers of dementia fail to get a proper diagnosis or treatment as medical resources aren’t enough to meet the needs of patients. 

With the situation being what it is, taking steps to prevent Alzheimer’s is very important. Being healthy is said to help ward off the disease. Studies link mental exercise, diet and lifestyle to be able to protect the brain from decline. Here are some tips on how to help keep your brain active and healthy.

Use it or lose it

The brain needs as much of a workout as the body, with numerous studies showing that brain training significantly improves cognitive ability. Recent research found participants in brain training games improved their memory by as much as 40%. Give your brain a grilling and have some fun with apps such as Lumosity, Elevate and Peak.

Adopt a healthy lifestyle

Brain health has been linked to heart and blood vessel health, so the risk factors of cardiovascular disease are likely to be the same for dementia. In fact, someone who has had a stroke, or who has diabetes or heart disease is about twice as likely to develop dementia. Clean up unhealthy habits and avoid smoking, excessive alcohol consumption and fatty foods.

Aerobic exercise which raises your heart rate, such as running, swimming and cycling, has been shown to help protect memory and fuel cognitive abilities. Studies also suggest that exercise stimulates the release of chemicals that affect brain cell health, the growth of new blood vessels and the volume and survival of new brain cells.

You are what you eat

Diet and nutrition play a key role in brainpower. A fifth of our energy intake is gobbled by the brain and just 2% of dehydration affects our attention, memory and other cognitive abilities. Evidence suggests a heart-healthy diet is also a brain-healthy one, with research showing a Mediterranean diet can lower the risk of brain decline by as much as 48%.

Whole grains including brown rice and wholewheat bread may also help with concentration and focus. Foods rich in essential fatty acids such as Indian mackerel (bangda), flax (alsi) seeds, pumpkin seeds and soya beans are important for healthy brain function. Studies suggest that dark red and purple fruits and vegetables, such as strawberries and purple cabbage, play a role in boosting short-term memory.

It’s time to get moving!

Research shows that regular exercise boosts memory and thinking and also improves sleep. One study shows that regular, moderate exercise over 6 to 12 months is associated with an increase in the volume of parts of our brain. 

Health issues can crop up at any time. Even those who lead healthy lives can be faced with medical emergencies, serious illnesses and ailments. That’s why it is extremely important to have good health insurance for yourself and your family. This will ensure that, in case of an unfortunate medical incident, you have the financial support you need to tackle the crisis head-on.