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Aging Brain

Health & Lifestyle
Contributed by : Ramesh Kumar

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Human brain ages with along with the human body. Most of the people will eventually experience some significant loss of mental lucidity as a result of aging.  People who are 60 years or older experience declines in memory, concentration, clarity of thought, focus and judgment with an increase in the onset of several neurological problems like Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, stroke etc
Surprisingly research found that there are many people who function very normally even when they age. So the causes of loss of memory, concentration, focus and the inability to function independently as man ages may not be only due to the aging itself, but may be due to a combination of other factors like brain-unhealthy behavior and habits, insufficient mental stimulation, limited thought or response control strategies, brain unhealthy diet or inadequate supplements, lack of new experiences, lack of sufficient social interactions and cooperation etc.

Delay the Aging of the Brain

Just like your body you brain also needs exercise and right nutrients.
To delay the aging of the brain and stay mentally sharp, you need to work your mental muscles. Get involved in something that keeps your brain busy such as taking up a new class, exercise, martial arts, games that use your brain and improve hand eye co-ordination. Some other activities are, painting, wood working, table tennis, badminton, video games, musical instruments and various puzzles. Any activity that involves concentration will help exercise the mind and keep it strong. As long as you learn something new, the nerve cells in your brain will grow and the connection between them will continue to strengthen.

Diet and supplements

A diet  high in Vitamin B-6, B-12 and Folate is essential especially after 40s.  Beans and pulses are a good source of B-6. While seafood, meat, and dairy products provide B-12. Folate is found in spinach, asparagus, beans, and fortified cereals.
Vitamin E,  helps in the maintenance of cell membranes. The main sources of vitamin E are cereal, grains, green vegetables and eggs.
Taking small doses of ginkgo biloba improves blood flow to the brain as well as other organs.

Social Interactions
Humans are social beings. Social interaction is our need.  It is seen that people with a strong support network of family, friends, and acquaintances are less susceptible to stress-related problems. 

Exercise

Regular exercise also keeps the mind sharp. Yoga, aerobic exercise and martial arts during middle age is beneficial for boosting the brain.  Even brisk walking help the brain. Best exercise for motor co-ordination is to stand on one foot for  as long as possible and then switch to the other foot and repeat.

Also, avoid smoking, drugs and excessive alcohol.  Get enough sleep to keep your brain healthy and young.

 

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