Brain Maintenance


things we must do to properly care for and maintain our brains. Unfortunately

as we all know, there is no magic pill to prevent or cure Alzheimer’s Disease

or dementia but there are certainly things we can do to promote and prolong

brain health.


One of the most important areas to address for brain health maintenance is

physical activity and exercise. By participating in exercise, we increase blood

flow to the brain which has a positive affect on our brain functioning. This certainly

does not mean we must all train for a marathon or become a competitive athlete.

We all need to adopt an active lifestyle. All it takes is a minimum of 30 minutes

a day. Now honestly, we are all able to commit to 30 minutes a day of merely

walking. Yes, strive for 7 days a week, but if you only squeeze in 5, that is still

beneficial. Research continues to support the many benefits and importance of

physical activity. Exercise is also great for your heart health. Did you realize

that if something is good for your brain than it is also good for your heart? Yes,

the reverse is also true, if something is good for your heart then it is good for

your brain. So as you can see, a sedentary lifestyle is not healthy!

A second key component to prolonging brain health is to eat a healthy diet

full of essential vitamins and minerals. Eating a healthy, well balanced diet

essentially feeds your mind. It is crucial to eat foods that are full of the healthy

omega 3 fatty acids. This includes fish like salmon, flounder, haddock, sole,

mackerel, trout, and really just about any fish. Other foods high in omega 3’s

are walnuts, cabbage, flax seed, pumpkin seeds, strawberries, spinach. There

is really quite a variety of foods that can easily be incorporated into a healthy

lifestyle diet.

In addition to omega 3 fatty acids, our brains and bodies can reap benefits from

other foods,drinks, spices, and herbs. Do you consume enough fresh fruits and

vegetables? Olive oil, avocados, beans, yams, sweet potatoes, strawberries,

 cranberries, and apples just to name a few have numerous health benefits.

Instead of seasoning your food with salt, try fresh herbs and spices. Did you

realize that certain herbs and spices have brain health benefits? Consider

adding these to your cooking-cinnamon, turmeric, oregano, ginger, rosemary,

garlic, basil, thyme, sage, and saffron. All these spices have been linked to

improved brain health.So, spice up your food, it’s good for you! Do you

consume enough water? Our brains require water to maintain brain health.

Are you a green tea drinker? Green tea has numerous health benefits. I

personally average at least 8 cups a day, especially now that it is cold outside!


Exercising your brain is the final key area to address in promoting prolonged

brain health. We must keep our brains active and able to form new neural

pathways. Take advantage of brain or neuroplasticity! This means that through

new learning we actually have the ability to create new pathways in our brain.

By adopting a healthy lifestyle and becoming a lifelong learner, we increase

our odds for maintaining a healthy brain throughout our lifetime. Isn’t that what

we all want to achieve-a long healthy and happy life? We are never too young

to begin learning and never too old to stop learning. It is so important to keep

our minds sharp! Learn a new language, learn a new game, volunteer, join a

club, form a club, change your routine. To help maintain brain health, it is

necessary to learn something new, master it, and repeat! Stay connected

with people and be part of a group, and have a purpose in life! Remember,

laughter does a person good!

As we all know, at this point there is no cure for Alzheimer’s Disease or

dementia, but why not take charge of what we can to decrease our risk

for developing this debilitating and devastating disease? Make it your

New Year’s resolution for 2011 to change your life and prolong your

brain health!

Heidi Lipman, M.Ed, CCC-SLP

For reprints please email

Copyright BrainMasters, LLC 2010


BrainMasters, LLC

Brain Maintenance

Our brains are so sophisticated and complex yet there are some simple

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